I am set to make this year truly be one of great joy. Everyday I remind myself to just feel and find the “happy”. Joy, as I have internalized it, is meant to propel us forward in life. And, I am also set to continue my movie-going momentum from the previous year. Last year, the first major movie I caught was that of Black Panther. And, I loved it. It transcends the superhero genre. It also had a story line around social justice, action and finding one’s power. Or perhaps better yet, defining one’s power. And that movie somewhat set the tone for the year. This year, I can’t help but think that catching Mary Poppins Returns as my first movie of the year is also setting a tone for the year. It is a family movie chock full of optimism. And there is joy even in the midst of great loss and potential heartbreak. Such a story line falls right in line with my framework of this being a year of joy.
I must state that I am not a grand fan of musicals. However, I occasionally come across one that I love. My favorite still being Moulin Rouge and second being the 2002 Chicago directed by Rob Marshall who so happens to be this film’s director as well. Now, I did not Love Mary Poppins Returns but I rather liked it. And, I must admit that I never saw the original one. Yes, that is true. And, it did not occur to me to catch the original either. An NPR review of the film noted that “The first rule of Mary Poppins is that you must never explain Mary Poppins.” And I took that guidance seriously by not seeing the first one. And, I think I was able to follow the storyline just fine. My favorite musical bit was the “A Cover Is Not The Book” that took place in a grand music hall. I wanted to wiggle my toes which were comfortably elevated in my reclining movie seat. It is a fun scene that will probably be one of the more memorable ones from this movie. It is joyous, frenetic, and so absolutely true. Yes, one can indeed imagine that. Even cooking without a recipe. Throw caution to the wind and enjoy what comes of it.
We are just at the mid-point of the fist month of the year. And, as Mary Poppins notes we’re on the brink of an adventure so don’t spoil it with too many questions. Sit back and enjoy the show and stand up and dance to your own beat.