Criticizing Mr Banks

People can enjoy films like Mary Poppins without pointing out that umbrellas tend not to make conversation. Audiences will appreciate the film on its own terms; a fantasy musical with an uplifting end. Recent criticism of “Saving Mr Banks”, a film about the author of Mary Poppins reluctance to allow Disney to make the aforementioned film, suggests that if a film draws from real life events; it must hew with precise accuracy to the past and the participants.

Much has been made that that in the ongoing conflict at the heart of the film, between Walt Disney and Mrs Travers, Disney is portrayed in too positive light and Travers comes across as unreasonable in all aspects. For the confines of the film, that simplification of the characters makes that conflict carry the dramatic weight of the story – it is needed for the film. Yes, there are meetings in the film that did not occur, but again they help drive the story forward or show PL Travers deep skepticism on the whole Disney approach.

If you want to understand PL Travers and the details of her negotiations with Disney over the rights to Mary Poppins; this film will not give you that. If you want to watch a well crafted movie that balances joy and sorrow, with great central performances, that enhances your appreciation for one the greatest film musicals of all time, then “Saving Mr Banks” is highly recommended.

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Published in: on 28 December, 2013 at 8:31  Leave a Comment  

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