Mulan Review: A powerful performance


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Mulan preparing for battle.

Kalaya Gross, Staff Writer

A Set in a small village during the ancient Chinese era, Mulan is an empowering film for many young girls. The story covers a young Chinese girl, who disguised herself as a man in order to help defend China against the Huns. She takes the place of her father in battle to preserve the honor of her family. Her sense of bravery and courageousness has always been within her since adolescence. Growing up Mulan’s mother noticed her tomboy-like qualities after she chased a chicken all the while doing acrobatics. While this action may have alarmed her mother, Mulan’s father noticed her chi/warrior spirit. 

Later in Mulan’s young adulthood, she decided to embrace this aspect of her personality by fighting as a soldier. One day imperial army scouts rode through her village going from house to house demanding that one male family member from each household needed to fight in battle. With Mulan’s family never having any sons her dad was the immediate draft pick for battle. Even though her father was a proud volunteer he was also a wounded war hero. This prompted Mulan’s bravery where she took it upon herself to take her father’s armor and sword and pose as a young man. All in the name of love Mulan decided to save her father’s life by risking hers and becoming ready to live up to her fullest potential. She escapes within the night to run away with the imperial army.

As she trains, Mulan’s knowledge and skill of martial arts soon gain the respect of other soldiers. This prompted her to become admired by all soldiers and become commanding general. With the ongoing war, there was no one around to help assist Mulan or protect her. However, being the strategic general she was, Mulan used the superstition of the enemy against them in order to win the battle. Mulan wins the battle in the end without any moments of failure, and only, in the end, does everyone discover her true identity. 

Many didn’t take offense to this new discovery. If anything this broke a barrier for women in the ancient world and proved that women can be just as courageous and strong, maybe even stronger than men. The message of this story was to display the importance of honor within ancient Chinese culture. Mulan took a brave risk with her life for the sake of her father getting hurt in battle. She became stronger and fearless than ever before and gained the respect of many despite being a woman. Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan displays a powerful performance of Mulan’s characteristics along with the theme of female empowerment and family devotion.