Julie Andrews owns Mary Poppins’ iconic appearance in a way that no one can ever beat her. She is the Mary Poppins of 1964 and the Mary Poppins for 2064. However, in 2019 or rather 2018, the release year of the all new version of a beloved story, all credit must go to the one and only Emily Blunt. There must be no comparison between the two actresses except one – both are exceptionally talented, unique, and with a delicious charisma that can breathe life into a character in such a way that you ever hardly dislike or disapprove. This is why Rob Marshall’s “Mary Poppins Returns” is even better than it could be.
The Banks family goes through a difficult time. Michael (Ben Whishaw), the patriarch of the family tries to do his best to earn enough money to provide for his three children, Georgie (Joel Dawson), John (Nathaniel Saleh) and Anabel (Pixie Davies). His sister, Jane (Emily Mortimer), is tremendously supportive as well. However, there’s the appearance of two gentlemen from a Bank with the notice of repossession of Banks’ home if Michael fails to pay his loan in full within five days. It seems nothing can save him nor his family from finding themselves homeless or living on the street, when suddenly, decades after her original visit, the magical nanny named Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) returns once again to help the entire family during the difficult times of their eventful life.
Right from the start, we find Michael, who barely remembers about his bills to be paid, as his life from home to work and work to home is already overwhelming enough to get a second to think about anything else. His children seemingly exist in their own world and think they can do everything on their own or in their own way. But even they become concerned when they realize that they might lose their family home if they don’t act quickly. Mary Poppins, who has a special connection with the family, appears only when the family loses their faith to remind them, “everything is possible, even when it’s impossible.” In that, her fellow, Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda), will always be by Mary’s side to add more color to the already marvellously colorful journey the family is about to embark themselves upon.
As soon as the film starts, the Rob Marshall film aims to reach the highest point and never falls short; not even once, not even for a second. Musical sequences, colors, photography, beautiful costumes, or the performances of the entire cast is memorable and truly outstanding. The hand-drawn animation sequences will remind you of the animation during Hollywood’s Golden Era, just in the right way to realize it’s Disney who never have intentions of hitting the lowest bar. Dame Angela Lansbury’s appearance as the Balloon Lady or Paul Van Dyke as Mr. Dawes Jr. or Meryl Streep as Cousin Topsy, and Colin Firth as Wilkins/Wolf add up more beauty to the film that is already unbelievably good.
While Emily Blunt deserves special recognition for her own interpretation of Mary Poppins, it becomes obvious as soon as she appears that she was the right choice and no one except her would’ve been able to pull it off unless Disney decided to CGI Julie Andrew’s version. But the film itself also stays true to the book and brings tons of new songs which you will love. Rob Marshall’s direction is pure masterpiece. He does what he can best – creating a piece of art that will never age.
Indeed, “Mary Poppins Returns” is all what we needed to have our souls dance throughout, singing along and appreciate family even more. In the end, to not give much away, it’s wise to end the review by quoting Mary Poppins who says to the kids, “Children, we’re on the brink of a great adventure. Don’t spoil it with so many questions,” which I already did perhaps, answering some of your questions. But remember, whether you’re a fan of the older version or sceptical about the new one, believe me, this film is way better than you can imagine. All what you need to do is to see and corroborate it by yourself.