If you want your holiday blues to go away then you should go see Mary Poppins Returns, the signature Disney creation. There are a lot of people dealing with personal loss, depression and isolation during the holidays. And without the ones they love in their lives, the feeling of enigmatic loneliness can creep right in and steal your joy.
Not if you have Mary Poppins working on your behalf as we see in Jane and Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw), who goes through the holiday season sunken by the loss of his wife and the mother of his three children. Adding to Michael’s woes and distress is the fact he is facing the prospect of losing his house.
What makes Marry Poppins Returns such a great family film is that the subjects or rather the topics the movie addresses are all very relatable to the common man or woman. Facing undue hardships, especially around the holiday season, happens to many people.
But in the middle of these unforeseen burdens are avenue of joys that are available if we choose to see them. This is what Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) tries to instill into the Banks family as she navigates the waters of being a nanny, babysitter, confidant, psychologist, and full-time encouragement whisperer.
Mary Poppins is that one person in our lives who knows how to push the right buttons and can prod us just right to help us to make the right decisions to better ourselves. While all of that is happening, we can still be a complete mess as we see with Michael, who haven’t a clue on what is up and what is down as the Great Depression takes hold of London.
Part of the magical intrigue about Mary Poppins Returns is the restraint showed by Mary Poppins to carefully not to just rush in and come to the immediate rescue of the Banks family. As with many people dealing with dire situations or dealing with just life period, there is a tendency to wait to be rescued by a magic wand from situations we have either created for ourselves or have a heavy atmosphere placed on our shoulders without notice.
For an example, how many of us go to the store every week hoping we can cash in on the lottery to help bail us out of the financial hole we have created for ourselves? Mary Poppins knows full well she is that magic wand the Banks family needs but what she does is allow Michael and his three children as well Jane (Emily Mortimer) is to see the glass half full instead of it being half empty with antidote nuggets of practical positivity.
It is easy to shuffle the blame on the bad guy for our woes as we see with the Banks family. The villain is what creates Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins is the good in all of us: kind, loving, caring, thoughtful. The bad is greed, ruthlessness and cold-heartedness, attributes that can lead to blind ambition as we see in Colin Firth’s William Weatherall Wilkins character as the banker who holds the deed to the Banks’ house and future.
The wonder about Mary Poppins Returns is that is still clings to the musical vibe of the original version with song and dance numbers to make you feel good about the nostalgic of yesteryear. Those times have come and gone. This is a new era, a different time. But as with the first Mary Poppins film, which starred the wonderful Julie Andrews, Mary Poppins Returns has moments of grandeur and hope.
This world can use a little bit more laughter, light-heartedness, fun and positive energy. Blunt as well as Lin-Manuel Miranda (Jack) and the rest of the cast of Mary Poppins Returns delivers on that.