Saving Mr Banks - Film Review

Saving Mr Banks - Film Review


Posted 2023-11-17 by PerthKelfollow
Saving Mr. Banks - Film Review

Saving Mr. Banks is a 2013 drama film directed by John Lee Hancock and starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson. The film tells the story of how Walt Disney convinced the author of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers to allow him to adapt her novel into a movie.

The plot of Saving Mr. Banks centres on the efforts of Walt Disney (Hanks) to convince the author P.L. Travers (Thompson) to allow him to adapt her book Mary Poppins into a film. Travers, who has been reluctant to sell the rights to her book for years, finally agrees to the meeting, but is immediately sceptical of Disney's intentions.

Throughout the film, we see Travers become increasingly frustrated with the changes Disney wants to make to her story, as she fears he will turn her beloved characters into caricatures and betray the memory of her father. Travers is deeply attached to the story of Mary Poppins, which is based on her own childhood experiences and the memory of her father, who was a struggling banker and alcoholic.

As the film progresses, we see flashbacks to Travers' childhood in Australia, where we learn more about her relationship with her father, Travers Goff, played by Colin Farrell. These flashbacks provide important context for understanding Travers' attachment to her book and her resistance to Disney's changes. We see how her father inspired many of the characters and themes in her book, including the character of Mary Poppins herself.

Throughout the film, we see Travers struggle to come to terms with her past and the trauma she experienced as a child. Her relationship with her father is complicated, and we see how his addiction and struggles with alcoholism had a profound impact on her life. Travers is reluctant to allow Disney to change her story because she fears it will compromise her memory of her father and the importance of his legacy.

As the film nears its conclusion, we see Travers begin to open up to the idea of adapting her book into a film, and we see her become more collaborative with Disney and the filmmakers. We also see her come to terms with her own past and the pain and trauma she experienced as a child. The final scenes of the film are deeply moving and poignant, as we see Travers attend the premiere of the film and watch as her story is brought to life on the big screen.

One of the strengths of Saving Mr. Banks is the way it explores the creative process of adapting a book into a film. The film is a fascinating look at the relationship between an author and a filmmaker, and how their differing visions and priorities can clash. Travers' insistence on sticking to her original vision for the story, and her reluctance to compromise, is a compelling character arc that adds depth and complexity to the film.

Another strength of the film is the performances of the two leads. Emma Thompson is outstanding as P.L. Travers, capturing both her prickly demeanour and vulnerability. She brings a depth and nuance to the character that makes her more than just a stubborn author, but a person grappling with the pain and trauma of her past. Tom Hanks is also excellent as Walt Disney, bringing a warmth and charm to the character that makes him a likable and sympathetic figure, despite the changes he wants to make to Travers' story.

The film's portrayal of Travers' childhood is also a highlight. The flashbacks to Australia are beautifully shot and acted, and provide important context for understanding Travers' attachment to her book and her resistance to Disney's changes. The scenes between Travers and her father are particularly powerful, as they capture the complicated relationship between a parent and child, and the pain of addiction and loss.

One of the weaknesses of the film, however, is the way it simplifies some of the historical and cultural context of the story. The film portrays Walt Disney as a charming and benevolent figure, without acknowledging some of the controversies and criticisms of his legacy. Similarly, the film doesn't delve deeply into the racial and gender politics of Mary Poppins, which have been the subject of debate and criticism over the years.

Despite these weaknesses, Saving Mr. Banks is a moving and engaging film that explores important themes about the creative process, the power of storytelling, and the complexities of memory and trauma. The film's performances and visual style are exceptional, and the story is both heart-warming and heart-breaking. Overall, the film is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Mary Poppins and the creative visionaries who brought her story to life.

270649 - 2023-11-17 02:00:15


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