Mamma Mia 2 – a musical sadder than Les Miserables?
Okay first up – this review is NOT spoiler free. You have been warned.
Secondly: my initial reaction to this movie has not stopped me from listening to solely ABBA for the last week nor from booking tickets to see the movie again. Ready? Let’s dive into it.
Mamma Mia 2 – Here We Go Again! Finally! A joyful movie musical to make us forget about everything and lets us escape for a few hours of pure happiness – right? Wrong. Tears. From start to finish.
First made aware of the death of the beloved Donna, shortly followed the unhappy relationship of Sky and Sophia in the number “One of Us”, all in the first 15 minutes! Killing off such a character is a bold bold move – understandably it allowed for the “looking back” flashback in time which was the basis for the majority of the movie but IT’S DONNA.
Oh don’t worry – the sadness continues. I (a complete hopeless romantic) found it extremely upsetting to see so many characters have their hearts broken in such a short space of time. Even worse – you are aware from the beginning that there would be no resolve! Harry never sees the “only girl he’ll ever love” again. Donna never forgives Sam! Not for 20 years!! Sam came back for her, and NEVER EVEN got to SEE her!! Donna doesn’t know about this for TWENTY YEARS. Thinking she was with someone else Sam leaves – so close to going differently but nO. (SO MANY TEARS) I think the only person happy at the end of 1979 in this world is Bill – and NO. No matter how absolutely smitten I may be with this character it doesn’t…
… okay maybe it does soften the blow a little…
Now that’s a whole other issue – why did we see so little of these beautiful young specimens? Did we need to break up Sky and Sophia? Couldn’t we have explored these delightfully sweet romances for a little bit longer than a song each instead?
The timeline of the story is seriously messy and flawed, but whilst the movie fails to deliver in terms of plot, it does deliver superb performances of ABBA classics that will keep you singing well after you leave the cinema. The young actors do an incredible job embodying the infamous characters, with strong vocals and striking resemblances to the originals – young Rosie will make you wonder if they put Julie Walters in a time machine. Bright colours, sunny landscapes, and dance numbers on boat decks make this movie a delight to watch. I may have cried for nearly two hours straight during it, but all I want now is to be Donna Sheridan, and I will unashamedly admit to ordering a pair of flares yesterday as a result.