Monday, July 8, 2019

Mulan Trailer Reaction

Mulan would seem to lend itself well to live action. The sequences that are exciting in the animated film are full of pacing and, well, action that would translate well into live action. The visuals and plot are reliant mainly on people and their reactions (as opposed to, say, dancing and furry woodland creatures). And the story and themes are also quite adult. So this remake has a chance to be a gem.

The words that play over the scenes in the trailer reminded me of the "Be a Man" sequence in the original. Shang is trying to train his men, telling them they're a bunch of sissies and girls if they can't keep up. And since Mulan is struggling, at first she thinks he's right: she is literally a girl and she can't do this. But then she says, no, I have to do this, so she is able to do it no matter that she is a woman--as a woman, she is still able to "man up."

Similarly, in the trailer, you have this dialogue about how to be a proper woman and wife playing along with images of Mulan training and fighting in battle. The very traits that would seem to "keep a woman in her place" or hold Mulan back from taking a soldier's role are the very traits that help her to become a good soldier: mainly, discipline. This also pairs nicely with Mulan's words at her family's table. She tells them that she will bring the family honor. We as the audience know that she will bring them honor, though not in the way that they expect: it will be through her service in war, not through marriage. So it looks like this movie will get the theme across nicely.

Word is that the love story is out, right? That does make me a little sad, since I quite like the love story in Mulan. It's like the one in Divergent. That isn't the main part of the story, though, so it can be taken out. I'm curious, though, about Mulan's friendship with her fellow soldiers. None of that was shown in the trailer (since it was, after all, just a teaser), so I'll look forward to seeing how that plays out. That camaraderie is what helps Mulan feel like she has found a place and a role; she isn't an isolated, lone figure.

Anyway, everything looks good so far, and I certainly hope so, because this movie has so much going for it. Handled well, it can be both amazing and well-timed.

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