Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Another Disney remake but this time not completely the same. This expensive live-action version of Disney’s Mulan dropped a few elements that made me love the 1998 animated movie.
First of all, you will notice the musical element is gone. The music that got stuck in your head such as ‘Make A Man Out Of You’ and ‘Reflections’ are gone. The director Niki Caro didn’t see the music fitting into her vision of the story of Mulan and wanted to dig deep into the historic storyline. Watching Mulan, you can tell this is the case and the expensive budget, becoming the most expensive film ever made by a woman, makes you believe the raw emotions of the characters. Saying this, I did enjoy the underscore of the song reflections played throughout and then played in full at the titles.
Secondly the strong romantic storyline arch is gone. In the 1998 animated movie Mulan falls in love with her commanding officer, but this doesn’t fit into the #MeToo woman empowerment of 2020. In recent Disney films our heroines are not focused on needing to be rescued by a man. Even Mushu is missing in the remake, as he wasn’t popular in China in the original. Niki made the decision to respect the Chinese Legend and attempted to flatter the vast Chinese market. The loss of Mushu means that the movie itself lost a lot of its comedy. Even with these missing elements, it still has a mind-blowing effect of the original.
Well this could be because of the $200 million budget. This would buy the stunningly beautiful scenery, set and outstandingly talented stars. The artistical spectacle the new version focuses on paints a colourful picture in your mind. The large-scale battles between the terrifying Huns and the defending guards are movie masterpieces. Jason Scott Lee as the Huns leader Bori Khan was perfect casting, reflecting the dark grittiness of his character.
Yifei Liu gave us a stunning performance as the captivating Mulan, showing us the four virtues of loyal, brave, truth and family. Liu fights for the right to represent her family, to protect her people and by doing so risking her honour. Going from a painted traditional Chinese princess shell to a strong and powerful warrior to ultimately breath-taking, showing the audience that you are capable of anything you put your mind to. The appearance of Gong Li, a shape-shifting witch shows the true struggles of Mulans journey. Seeing how Gong Li tried to push away from the norm of a woman in society but turned evil and still under the power and stress of a man.