The animated Disney movie Mulan is a classic, and so all eyes have been on the live-action remake of this movie directed by Niki Caro. This mega-budget film brought back one of the bravest and most empowered Disney female characters, Hua Mulan. The story follows Mulan (Liu Yifei) who is from a small village. From a young age, her father realizes that her ‘Chi’ or inner-power is strong but she is asked to hide it as a woman needs to bring honor to her family by getting married. After the rebellious warrior, Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee) decides to invade the imperial city and devices a plan to take down the emperor himself with the help of a witch. The emperor sends out a decree that every family must send one male member to fight the war. Mulan’s kind father who is an old soldier must now go back to war as he doesn’t have a son. Mulan decides that this is her time to rise up and she takes the place of her father by disguising herself into a man.
Loyal and brave but, true?
In spite of the storyline being familiar Mulan does a good job with the casting. Liu Yifei does a good job as the title character. She carries most of the film on her shoulders pretty well. It would have definitely been nicer if the film reached a little deeper and explored Mulan’s character a little deeper but it seemed to scratch the surface as it portrayed her journey of disguise as easy. The supporting actors also do a good job. The shape-shifting witch Xianniang (Gong Li) in Mulan was introduced to help Bori Khan defeat the imperial city. As the storyline progresses we see a deeper story to Xianniang.
We’ve missed Mushu!
Right from the soldiers training for the battle up to the battle itself, all the fight sequences are quite mesmerizing and done in an extravagant manner. However, the action sequences don’t make up for the loss of the magical touch that was there in the animated film. Mushu who was Mulan’s closest companion in the animated movie was eliminated from this film and he brought that much-needed comic relief which was lacking in this film.
WATCH OR NOT:
Even though we missed the music, humor, and original magic, Mulan is a lovely one-time watch with its heart in the right place. Watch this warrior come to life with some popcorn and some hot chocolate.
Director: Niki Caro
Writer: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Cast: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Li Gong