Mulan is a retelling of the myth of Hua Mulan a young woman who takes her father’s place in the conscription of the army by disguising herself as a man. It also serves as a remake of the 1998 film of the same name.
The story in this movie while being very similar to the animated one differs in tone and historical accuracy. This one leans more into mysticism and historical elements that the animated movie lacked. The filmmakers used not only the animated movie as a reference, but they also used different Chinese adaptations of ‘The Ballad of Hua Mulan.’ which serves as the original basis for the adaptation.
At its core, it’s a story of a woman who defied the odds and showed that there was more to her than what society wanted of her. It’s a good message and this movie manages to get the message across in a way that is easy for everyone to understand and digest.
The acting is good. Yifei Liu carries the movie with charisma and emotion. She may not be as funny as her animated counterpart but she makes up for it her performance and seeing that this movie isn’t a comedy, I am okay with it. You can tell she has a softer and more playful side but it doesn’t jeopardise the intensity of the movie. I also found out that she did 90% of her own stunts which is really impressive given how complex some of the sequences are.
The rest of the cast is just as good. They all have organic chemistry that brings the film together especially the soldiers in Mulan’s regiment. There is a community feel which grounds the movie. You see them start out as strangers and slowly become somewhat of a family. The scene where they are talking before they head into battle really shows how much the characters have progressed.
There are also a few recognisable faces such as Donnie Yen who plays Commander Tung and Jet Li who plays The Emperor. While I didn’t recognise them at first, it was a nice tidbit to know that they were in the movie.
The other actor apart from Yifei Liu that caught my attention was Gong Li who plays a new character Xianniang one…