Arts & Reviews

Mulan Movie Review : The Girl At War With The World

By: Alejandro Lago

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Disney’s live action remake of their classic 1998 animated film Mulan was released exclusively to Disney+ members on September 4th of this year. I had the opportunity to watch the movie over the weekend, and there are a few things to be said about this film. Mulan is just under 2 hours long, but does not feel like a long or dragged out movie. The movie follows the story of a young girl who disguises herself as a man to battle northern invaders in China. The character of Mulan is played by the brilliant Liu Yifei. Liu does an excellent job of playing Mulan in this film. She shows that Mulan is empowering, brave and courageous in the film.

Unlike a lot of Disney’s live-action remakes, Mulan is not a movie that follows the exact storyline of the original. It has some differences, but they’re all pretty small. The plot of the 2020 film is almost identical to the plot of the 1998 original. Hua Mulan is the daughter of a noble warrior and does not find interest in being a proper lady whose only job is to find a good husband. Instead, she wants to be a fighter, like her father Hua Zhou (Tzi Ma), and when the Emperor states that every family must send a man to serve in the fight against northern invaders, she decides to disguise herself as a man, Hua Jun, to serve in place of her hurting and disabled father. The story moves fast, occasionally feeling a little too fast in order to be cohesive. The fight-scenes in the movie are top-notch, although still appropriate for children to watch.

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Mulan is colorful and imaginative enough to catch the attention of families. This is one Disney movie that won’t be hard for the whole family to watch together, with enough action and emotional moments to satisfy every taste. And it is truly gorgeous to look at, with brilliant costumes (from Bina Daigeler) and sets (designed by Grant Major and decorated by Anne Kuljian). Mulan is as epic as it is a Disney film. With the plot being so similar to the original 1998 animated film, the story is truly told in a beautiful way. The movie is amazing to watch on a big screen and it is disappointing that due to the ongoing pandemic, the movie theater release of Mulan has since been cancelled. 

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