Liu Yifei in "Mulan" by Niki Caro -
Jasin Boland / Disney +
"Mulan", inspired by a Chinese legend of the 7th century, is known to the general public for the cartoon released in 1998.
This version in real shots is intended to be closer to reality.
Director Niki Caro wanted to pay tribute to Chinese traditions with this film which evokes great masters of Asian cinema.
After having given up his theatrical release because of Covid-19,
by Niki Caro arrives on Disney + with her saber and her warrior temperament.
This visually impressive fresco is freely inspired
1998 animated film directed by Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft.
But this rereading in real shots evokes above all the original legend, that of a girl from a good family who pretended to be a boy in order to take up arms and defend the honor of her clan.
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More memorable songs, cricket crickets and mischievous dragon in this new version, but an epic breath thanks to a plethora of great actors and very beautiful action scenes.
Around Liu Yifie, seen in
The Forbidden Kingdom
, we recognize Chinese movie stars like Jet Li, Donnie Yen and Gong Li.
“To defend her values, Mulan is forced to hide who she really is,” says the director to
She is an example of a determined woman who has flouted traditions at the risk of her life.
It is not difficult to identify with Mulan, an intrepid heroine who offers a beautiful introduction to Chinese martial arts cinema of which he recalls the classics.
A modernized legend
Created in the 7th century, the legend of Mulan has spanned the centuries.
"Our goal is to make this story, rich in positive values, known to young audiences around the world by continuing the tradition of storytellers from the past," says Niki Caro.
His film plunges into the heart of Chinese traditions evoking the work of King Hu, a filmmaker who gave his letters of nobility to wu xia pan (Chinese saber film) with frescoes such as
A Touch of Zen
Who says wu xia pan expects participants not to pick strawberries but to beat each other with as much grace as ardor.
“We called on stuntmen from Mongolia, New Zealand, Kazakhstan and Australia for the clashes,” explains the director.
We think of works like
The Secret of the Flying Daggers
(2003) by Zhang Yimou in the face of this surge of virtuoso fights.
A touch of romanticism
To be a warrior, one is nonetheless a woman.
Mulan feels friendships or even more because of affinities with one of her comrades, Hong Hui (played by newcomer Yoson An).
We think back to the delicate romance that united the heroes of
Tiger and Dragon
“We wanted the film to be epic but also packed with emotion.
Mulan is a strong woman, but she can be sensitive.
She is not a superheroine, ”says Niki Caro.
On the border of the fantastic
constantly defy the laws of physics with their soaring flights and aerial choreography movements.
“The idea was to honor the legend by restoring the magical side,” says Niki Caro.
Once Upon a Time in China
(1991) by Tsui Hark offers a similar wonder.
“Mulan has been in the hearts of Chinese children for centuries.
I hope this new version will do him honor, ”says Niki Caro.
His film does make you want to rediscover the classics of Chinese sword films.
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