Mary Poppins Returns is delightful like good toffee, although you might need some time adjusting to its 1960s formula.
Mary Poppins Returns Synopsis
It’s 1935 and two of the original Banks children, Michael and Jane, are struggling with economic fallout from the Great Depression. Worse, Michael recently lost his wife and stands to lose his family home too ,no thanks to a foolish loan he took out from Fidelity Fiduciary Bank. In the midst of this hardship, Mary Poppins breezes in from the skies again and bosses her way into being the nanny of Michael’s three children. Her magical ways soon teach the whole Banks family a precious new lesson in life. Naturally, she also assists the Banks in their desperate efforts to save their home.
I can’t be sure but I believe I watched the original Mary Poppins when I was twelve or thirteen. (Or younger, I really can’t remember). I obviously didn’t enjoy that lone viewing very much because ever since, even with YouTube, I’ve never once searched for Mary Poppins songs or movie clips. Neither do I play any of the signature songs on my Electone.
As for why I didn’t like it, it’s because … the movie never does get down to explaining what on earth or who on earth Mary is. I mean, she can fly, bend reality, open portals to alternate realms, probably spews fire and acid too if she wants to. Just who is she? Why did this cosmic being come to the aid of the original Banks children?
Mentioning this because my “grudge” with the original movie much affected my viewing experience of Mary Poppins Returns. Now, I must highlight, I wasn’t expecting a LoTR-ish origins story, and I’d be lying if I say I didn’t enjoy the exhilarating music sequences.
But with it being half a century since the first movie, wouldn’t some delicious titbit about Mary’s background spice up the movie more than a modern albeit technically-superior rehash of the ’64 plot?
The author herself, P. L. Travers, once acknowledged how the whole Mary Poppins dropping in to save the day plotline gets old real quick.
The summary: it took me quite a while to adjust to this old-world 1960s formula. I needed some effort before I started enjoying the song and dance.
But maybe it’s just me. I tend to look for the wrong things in the wrong girl. I never had a nanny, you see.
Check out my other snappy movie reviews.