Disney had released their much-awaited live-action Mulan last weekend, and despite all the hype, the film had been poorly received critically. Sci-fi author Xiran Jay Zhao has decided to come up with an in-depth thread on Twitter on what is wrong with the film, and she goes on to break down what is wrong with having four white writers and a white director take on the story of Hua Mulan.
This is the start of the thread, and you can read as Zhao gets increasingly (and hilariously) frustrated with the film.
— XIRAN, Chinese History Educational Memer (@XiranJayZhao) September 5, 2020
By the end of it, Zhao —like the rest of the people who’ve seen Mulan —absolutely recommends that you don’t check out the live-action Mulan. Though the film may have been pretty, Disney kind of made a huge misstep behind the scenes when they didn’t hrire any POC writers to deal with the script.
DO NOT WATCH #MULAN. DO NOT GIVE A SINGLE CENT OF YOUR MONEY TO IT. DO NOT ENCOURAGE DISNEY TO MAKE MORE MOVIES LIKE IT.
THAT WAS ABSOLUTE TORTURE. SO MUCH WORSE THAN I EXPECTED. I AM TIRED AND UPSET AND DRAINED.
— XIRAN, Chinese History Educational Memer (@XiranJayZhao) September 6, 2020
Personally, I was also disappointed with the film. While I was willing to give it a chance when it was announced that they wouldn’t have the music, and they would be making a serious war drama, the movie kind of lost the essential message of the original animation—Mulan got ahead because of her intelligence and perseverance; not because she was gifted with enormous Chi and she had to hold herself back because she was a woman. What is she, a Palpatine?
If there were any redeeming qualities though, the movie is definitely pretty, and the costumes and colors are really dazzling to watch onscreen. Too bad it’s just fluff for a movie with a watered-down feminist message that pales in comparison to the original.
Then again, you watch and decide for yourself whether the movie was great or not. There are still some people who like it, but I think Zhao has some valuable insight that Disney should take note of when it comes to their next live-action adaptation.
You can watch Mulan now in Disney+.