Movies Review

Mulan Review: Disney’s latest live-action a perfect thriller for old school movie fans

The live-action remake of classic “Mulan” is out on Disney Plus now and for the old school movie fans, it seems to be the perfect watch. Though It could have been more fun to watch on the big screen.

Those who watched the original classic tale of the Chinese legend Mulan probably are old enough and many would-be having kids who have a long list of superheroes they enjoy watching.

But this retake on the animated version seems to be a perfect thriller, a kinda need of these digital times, however, the original remains a beloved classic no matter what. We do not see Mulan’s witty grandmother in the remake, as well as Mushu is notably missing.

Most of us are surely aware of the story of Mulan, a young girl who is blessed with a talent that was thought to the virtue of the male child of the family, and the only thing girls could do to make the family proud was thought to be getting married.

Read More : Mulan forgoes theatrical release, will now premiere on Disney Plus on Sept. 4

This Mulan is a perfect example of female empowerment, bravery, and devotion to family, helmed by director Niki Caro, Yifei Liu in the titular role. 

The film opens with young Mulan (played by Crystal Rao), is chasing a chicken and in order to catch it, she goes on climbing up and leaping across rooftops in her village. And

And it is the moment when her mother reminds her by her father (Ma), by saying that “a daughter brings honor through marriage”.

Mulan’s special gift is recognized by her father. Who sees she’s blessed with special energy called “chi.” As she grew up, it’s not only Mulan who must face the struggle of hiding her abilities; her father also experiences the heartrending sadness of having to overlook his daughter’s skills just because she’s a girl.

There is a turn of events, we would like to find out yourself and trying best not to include any spoilers.

It is the period when the rebels pose threat the emperor (Jet Li), and various posts along the Silk Route are attacked by the Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee).

An imperial decree is announced across China to amass soldiers to protect the palace. The army is directed to recruit one man from each family. As Mulan’s family has no sons, so her father who himself warrior himself must join to maintain the honor, but he as grown old and more of that he has a bad led after getting wounded.

Mulan in the dark of night goes away wearing her father’s armor, stealing his sword, riding her father’s horse. She makes up her mind to protect her family’s honour by disguising as a man.

And when her father finds his things missing, Mulan’s family realizes what she has done, Mulan’s father invokes the power of a phoenix to watch over Mulan. It is a symbol referred to throughout the film hinting at the warrior’s power and might.

Mulan finally reaches the garrison and there are scenes where she trains out to become a talented warrior. It is a true test for her to keep her identity hidden.  At first, she tries to hide her special abilities. But at a point during the training, Mulan unwillingly puts a show of her power to fight that leaves the commander surprised.

Then there arrives the warriors of Bori Khan and at a certain point, the imperial army decides to intercept before it could reach the garrison. Now it is time for Mulan’s test of bravery and courage and she proves to be better than any male soldier, Won’t be going to details here, there are things one should experience while watching the film.

There is another powerful character is the shapeshifting sorceress Xianniang (Gong Li) who is Bori Khan’s menacing right-hand woman. When the sorceress had an encounter with Mulan, she instantly recognizes her true identity that leaves Mulan perplexed and comes to know that she is a witch.

The witch has suffered the same faith for being an ambitious woman and was outcast from her society and that is how Bori Khan had found her promising to give her a higher place after conquering the throne.

It is the sorcerers who advise Mulan “Your deceit weakens you. It poisons your qi.” And that’s the turning point when Mulan decides to reveal her identity and fights with her all might. And as expected she is made to leave the army for deceiving and bringing dishonour.

On her way back, the gloomy Mulan once again meets the witch, who being a woman sympathizes with Mulan and reveals that the emperor is the real target of Bori Khan while all the attacks were deceiving points.

Mulan somehow manages to convince the commander and is allowed to lead the troop after getting support from the soldiers who trained with her.

Mulan saves the emperor single-handedly and her effort is recognized by the king who gifts her a new sword after she loses her father’s while fighting  Bori Khan.

She returns back home but all her efforts have changed her faith and the last scene is the essence of the legend of Mulan.

Go watch it yourself the live-action take of the Disney’s classic. And the good news is that Mulan will be opening in Pakistani cinemas on Sep 11.

Saman Siddiqui

Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.

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