Monday, 17 June 2013

Mary Poppins Review

I think I'm one of the few people in the developed world who had never seen this movie.  So when it was offered on the big screen, I figured why not go see it.  I found out quickly that, even though I had never seen it, Mary Poppins obviously influenced my life significantly because I knew pretty much all of the songs.  That, in itself should reveal the quality of this film.

The movie, itself, is pretty stripped down.  There isn't much to it other than the song and dance numbers.  There is actually very little in the way of a plot or story or even character development.  The purpose is really to entertain (and to a lesser extent, tell a story) through song and dance and it does that very well.  It is a fantasy movie with a magic nanny and chimney sweep and a retired admiral firing a cannon from his roof twice a day, so it needs more than just basic special effects, sets and makeup to be done well.  Given that it was released almost fifty years ago, the effects and makeup are fantastic.

Finally, the best parts of the film are the performances from Dick van Dyke and Julie Andrews.  Both were more than solid and very convincing of the characters.  I have to give a stronger nod to van Dyke simply because his character actually has more significance to the movie than Andrews'.  Being a story about a magic nanny turning a family upside down should have more of a focus on the dynamic and friction between the head of the household and the nanny.  But there is actually very little of that other than the implied progression of the relationship.  But it doesn't really matter because, as I said, it's all basically about the song and dance.

See it.  The bottom line is that it is downright entertaining and fun.  Except for the song Feed the Birds.  The movie grinds to a screeching halt during that one.

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