The new “Mulan” arrives in Portugal this week – but it will be very different from the original
After a long wait, the film arrives here via the Disney + streaming platform.
It should be one of the big releases in theaters of the year. However, the pandemic penetrated the plans. It has been months of waiting, but the new movie is coming to the Disney + streaming platform instead of national theaters this Friday November 4th.
We are talking about the new version of the real image of “Mulan”, the legend of a girl in Imperial China who excelled on the battlefield against all the conventions of her time.
Regarding the animated film from 1998, we see again how Mulan (played here by Yifei Liu) takes over from his already weak father, contrary to the new law that requires a man from every household to join the army. In contrast to what happened with the hyper-realistic version of “The Lion King”, for example, Disney made many changes this time.
First, and before the spoilers that lie ahead of us, two milestones were highlighted: This is the most expensive film a woman (Niki Caro) has ever made. It’s also the first Disney production to feature an entirely Asian or Chinese-American cast. These are milestones to consider, but that may not be enough to satisfy fans who were expecting something closer to the original.
The truth (and then there are spoilers that have already appeared in the international press) is that neither the humor, nor the musical side, or even the talking dragon, reach the new film. The Great Wall of China has no claim to attention in the new production either. By the way, Mulan herself is not at all clumsy, she is particularly gifted to become a martial arts expert even from an early age.
While there is no dragon, there is the idea of a phoenix protecting Mulan’s family. And even if the musical side disappears, the new “Mulan” pays tribute to some of the songs in the animated version, as in the case of “Reflection”.
Contrary to what happened in the animated film, Mulan’s story here begins with being told by his own father. In the new film we see her as a child, which didn’t happen in the animated version. This time the grandmother does not appear in the story. And we also discover that Mulan is not an only child. The young warrior doesn’t have a dog, but has a younger sister.
Another difference to consider is the moment Mulan proves his worth to the brothers in arms. There is no arrow on top of a pillar that it is supposed to reach. This time it is the first company to do the job of climbing up a long flight of stairs with a bucket of water in each arm.
A lot has changed in the new film.
Mulan has the matchmaking spirit behind him. This focus will be important here as Mulan’s female emancipation side is at the center of the film. As in the animated version, Mulan still has to hide from his companions that he is a woman. Here, however, this is taken to another level. More scenes are expected where the tension over this risk of being discovered is palpable, even because the tent is shared with other warriors, unlike what happened in the first film.
Mulan, on the other hand, is not injured here, as was the case in the animated film and which led to her being discovered at the time. In her terms, she decides when and how to reveal that she is a woman. It also doesn’t cut the hair, but rather hides it. But there are more changes and not just about Mulan.
Instead of the villain of the first film, “Insider” explains that we will find two characters here who have the characteristics of the original villain and now appear as opponents of Mulan. In fact, there are more dangers and threats and a more interventionist emperor in this film (played here by a Jet Li who deserves praise).
Ping was the name chosen in the animated film, Hua Jun is his male name in the new film. The most important change, however, is the root of the story. In the real-life version, Mulan doesn’t just have to hide the fact that she is a woman. It also hides your chi side.
This chi side, according to international critics, resembles a certain side of power in the “Star Wars” style (which, oddly enough, is also under the responsibility of Disney) and brings this Mulan closer to a certain spirit of superhero films in which the protagonist is obliged to to develop and grow even if he takes this powerful side.
The new film is more dramatic, epic, and even more violent – nothing to scare parents of children. There is a lot of fighting and death here, but nothing particularly bloody as you can see on the trailer.
Contrary to what Disney has done with other new versions, it mainly relies on being a more autonomous work, using the folklore of the legend and the references of the animated film to give it a different look that better matches ours Time is adjusted. If you think it’s just the same, let it go, we’re talking about a different film with its own advantages and disadvantages.
From a technical perspective, the film has earned a lot of praise. It’s an ambitious and exuberant production. A lack of charisma was also pointed out. Or, in the words of “The Verge”, we are facing the “greatest disappointment of the year”. The long wait (the premiere was originally supposed to take place in March) certainly didn’t help live up to expectations. But at least the wait is coming to an end. The Chinese warrior wants to show what’s coming on Disney +.