Saving Mr. Banks: Film Review

  Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down

If you got the reference to the above-mentioned quote, you too have fond memories of some films from your respective childhood. More so, when the meaning is so real and hence hard-hitting. The song was composed for the 1964-Disney film, Mary Poppins, that starred Julie Andrews as the ‘wonderful’ nanny. Yes, the concept is indeed lovely, when all’s not going so well, there comes that one person to swish and flick her wand (or an umbrella) and makes everything alright. 

Based on the books written by English author, P.L. Travers (real name Helen Goff), the film Saving Mr. Banks focuses on the relationship that Mrs. Travers shared with Walt Disney and what went into the making of Mary Poppins, that won several Academy Awards and has since been successfully adapted for theatre. 

The story that Saving Mr. Banks tells is one of immense strife, on the part of Mrs. Travers, played by the prim and proper Emma Thompson and on the part of Walt Disney, played by the supremely-talented Tom Hanks. Both have their internal demons to fight, and the making of this film changes the lives of these two extremely talented individuals forever.  There have, of course, been one too many stories about the relationship that Walt Disney shared with the author of the popular children’s books, but from where I see it, the roles were aptly cast and played, with Emma Thompson doing her stuck up bit with much aplomb, and Tom Hanks doing his bit with that much ease. One must also notice the striking resemblance that the actor was given to the legendary Walt Disney. Everything about the film seemed so real, yet so perfect. Perhaps, that’s the usual effect of a biography well made. The book called as Mary Poppins She Wrote by Valerie Lawson, chronicles this relationship that Mr. Disney and Mrs. Travers share. The notable part is the beauty with which one gets to watch the tides change, all of it happening at the Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, California. 

P.L. Travers had a fantastic relationship with her father, played by Colin Farrell, and when she loses him to circumstances, she’s had a lot of emotions bottled up inside her and only the visual representation of the stories she wrote could release her of all the struggle inside her. The fact that the film makes you laugh and cry and watch on in awe and wonder, is definitely a story well-told by John Lee Hancock.

Why must you watch this film? 

To learn a few of life’s lessons told all through expressions and emotions. Also, to watch the fabulous making of a film that is close to a lot of people’s hearts – Mary Poppins, a film that took 3 years to make, but 20 years of persuasion. And most of all, to know why it is so imperative for someone to come to the rescue of Mr. Banks. 

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