(a “can life be ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?'” film review by Timothy J. Verret)
When I was in the deepest of despairs just recently, I did something that is quite unusual for me and shows just how much God has changed me: Instead of putting on THE HOURS (2002) or an Ingmar Bergman film in this deepest of despairs as I usually do, I put on MARY POPPINS (1964) and, boy (and girl), am I ever glad I did! What absolute “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” FUN is this film and what an absolute essential message there is at the heart of this film: Children don’t need money and rules and strict orders to make them truly happy; they just need “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” FUN! They just need a “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” life! Okay, now you can breathe from all that “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” I threw at you and, yes, I just threw it at you again!😂
The always delightful Julie Andrews is sheer delight as Mary Poppins (she won a Best Actress Oscar). Dick Van Dyke, another delight, is a “Chim-Chim-Cher-ee” hoot-and-a-holler as Bert. The kids are properly delightful and enchanting. And all the live animation in this film was groundbreaking for its time. This film also “broke ground” for all of us, BOTH young AND old alike, as a jump-into-a-ground-pavement picture was a trip into the delight of our imaginations. To be able to watch this film with an already active imagination like I have? Well, it just doesn’t get more delightful than that! And this film was actively “breaking ground” with a still-very-timely message: To inform parents and all parental figures that children are much more in their element when their element is their imagination. Children don’t need money and rules and strict orders in their young lives. They’ll encounter all of that plenty enough when they get older. And hopefully when children do get older, they’ll realize that it’s their imagination that will have them facing any and all of life’s challenges with a spirit of “supercalifragilisticexpialidious” FUN! I just can’t stop mentioning that “word,” can I?😉
And as I am always prone to discover in the films I watch, there is a Biblical component to MARY POPPINS that I picked up on in the song, “Feed The Birds.” For your listening (and discovering) pleasure….
The Biblical component to this film’s song for me comes from the Bible Verses of John 21:15-17. They say, “When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘FEED MY LAMBS.’ Again Jesus said, ‘Simon son of John, do you truly love me?’ He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.’ The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘FEED MY SHEEP.'” Now, I can be pretty sure the makers of MARY POPPINS didn’t have Bible Verses on their minds, but I did when I watched the film this time around (and there have been many “arounds.”). That’s why when Mary (that’s a Biblical Name!) sang the story of the little old lady who sat on the stoops of Saint Paul’s (that’s a Biblical Name!) every day to feed the starving and lonely birds, I knew Jesus was speaking directly to me, i.e., to “feed” His starving and lonely people and, of course, His starving and lonely nonhuman animals. This, I believe, was a Call from Jesus speaking directly to me to “FEED MY LAMBS, FEED MY SHEEP.” I know all of this is a far cry from “feed the birds,” but I also know that God “feeds the birds,” as well: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26). And I know I’ve said this time and time “around,” as well: We all might be much more valuable to God than birds, but birds still DO have much value to God. And all that said, from time and time “around,” we do need to give God a hand, like the little old lady, to “feed the birds,” and we do need to give God a hand to “FEED MY LAMBS, FEED MY SHEEP.”
This is just like me to get way off course in a film review and go into something way out in left field, but that IS the “right” way of how I review a film, i.e., to find in films what God wants me to find in films. I know others might say, “What in God’s Creation is Timothy talking about? I thought he was reviewing the “supercalifragilisticexpialidious” delight and imagination and FUN of MARY POPPINS?” But I do know what I’m talking about and I do know how I am to review a film, because this IS exactly how God talks and reviews a film TO and THROUGH me…. BOTH!
And if all of that is not God affording me a “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” life and a spirit of “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” FUN, then I don’t know what is, you guessed it, more “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” than that! Finally, I’m at the end of this film review and, finally, you can breathe from all the “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” I threw at you!😤
SIDE “SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS” (ONE FOR THE ROAD) NOTE: If you like MARY POPPINS (1964), please do not miss MARY POPPINS RETURNS (2018). It has all the delight and charm and imagination of its predecessor, and it also features two delightful leads in Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins and the most exquisitely charming, and most exquisitely handsome, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Bert.