<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>


Directed by Rob Marshall. Starring Emily Blunt, Ben Whishaw, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, Joel Dawson, Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury

Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes


As a fan of Julie Andrews and someone who grew up watching films like Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music I was obviously worried and curious to watch this ‘sequel’ to the original supercalifragilisticexpialidocious film!

Rob Marshall has captured the essence of the original relatively well. All the elements are there; in fact, it looks almost like a copy of the first one. The structure is identical, which is probably a good thing. Better not to reinvent the wheel, as it were.


Time period and filming style also help take you back in time when things were simpler and people’s problems more relevant than the first world issues we deal with nowadays. Jane (Emily Mortimer) and Michael (Ben Whishaw) Banks have grown up and have three kids of their own, but they’re struggling to survive in the trying financial times. Along comes Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) to ease some of the burden and show them all what’s really important.

Charm and some witty ditties keep a smile on your face throughout the film. I thought as a musical it was good with numbers like A Cover Is Not A Book impressing. There’s everything here that you expect, but nothing more. It adds nothing new to what we’ve already seen; in fact, it’s pretty much what we’ve already seen but without the iconic actors. The rendering of the 2D animation is lovely though.


Emily Blunt’s version of the magic nanny doesn’t quite capture the joy beneath the stern façade that the elegant Julie Andrews portrayed. I found Blunt to be a bit bland and a tad too serious, almost like she was concentrating on getting the role right and not having any fun with it. In contrast, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who plays the lamp lighter Jack, is exceedingly joyful, emotional and bubbly. None of the other actors comes close to matching his spark, not even Meryl Streep.

The addition of Angela Lansbury at the end as the Balloon Lady is lovely, I’d like to have seen more of her.


Mary Poppins Returns is a charming retelling in a way of a classic. Unfortunately, kids who haven’t seen the original may wonder about some of the references, and references to the 1964 film will be lost on them. Nevertheless, as a ‘remake’ of sorts, it succeeds where a lot of other ‘sequels’ in the last few years have failed miserably.


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