“Mulan” Film Analysis

Film Analysis Assignment When first reading about this assignment I thought about movies that had a strong culture theme to it. I didn’t want to choose a movie that I’ve only seen once, only because I wanted to be sure of its cultural theme and I also wanted to be sure that I knew exactly what the movie was about and everything that happens in it. The movie that I decided to write about is Mulan. It is very clear that the context of this movie provides us with the information that the film takes place in the ancient times in China.

We know this because in the opening scene it shows a Chinese soldier standing on The Great Wall of China. Also the clothing that they were is often affiliated with the Chinese culture so we can tell from this context where the movie takes place. Also a few times in the movie it shows the Chinese language written on certain things. I believe that the context of this film affects the communication between characters for a few reasons. One reason is whenever people greet each other, especially someone important, they would bow to them.

Another way the context affects communication is that the characters talk to their elders so properly and respectfully. One of the main social identities in this film was the one that Mulan held. Since Mulan was pretending to be a man so she would be able to fight in the war, she definitely had to fit in with those among her. She had to talk like they did, walk like they did, participate in the things that she did. She did this so she would not blow her cover and be caught. The obvious culture identify in this movie is that they are all Chinese.

We can tell this because of how they are dressed, their surroundings as well as their facial structure. One of the huge ways one of the characters helped us understand her perspective was when Mulan sang the song “Refection”. In this song Mulan is talking about how she doesn’t feel like she is good enough and that if she were to act how she really is she would break her family’s heart. She thinks that her reflection is someone she doesn’t know. With her singing this song we are able to truly see what Mulan thinks of herself and it helps us understand her more.

The relationship between her identity and the context of the movie is pretty understandable. The context in the movie shows us the true identity of who Mulan really is. There is a major change in Mulan’s identity by the end of the movie. Throughout the movie Mulan is trying to prove to everyone that she will bring her family honor. At the end of the movie she ends up getting to take home the Emperors Imperial crest along with Shan Yu’s sword. The history in this movie greatly affects the characters standpoints. As we all know, Mulan takes place during the ancient dynasty days in China.

So many details throughout this movie give that away. But the one of the many ways that history affects the standpoints of the characters in this movie is how they train as well as travel for their battle to fight against the Huns. With it being ancient days the soldiers’ are trained to fight with their hands, they are taught ty kwon doe and how to use a bow and arrow. If this movie had taken place in the 21st century, the soldiers’ would be trained how to shoot guns. This right here shows you that history greatly affects the characters.

If Disney had decided to place the movie in present days the climax fight scene would be completely different. The perceptions of history in this movie can teach you many things. There are just so many little details that show you the films history. There’s a scene in the movie where the General has sent a letter to the training camp and we can see its history because Mushu writes the General back with pen and ink. Near the end of the movie the soldiers’ that fought in the battle parade through the city on horses and they have the traditional clothing from that time on as well.

One of the main relationships between history and one of the main characters (Shang) is that he is now the leader of the army. Since he is now the leader he has to train the men how they were taught for battle back in those days. There was only one language used in this film, which was English. But there were many different communication styles used in the film. Since Mulan is portraying a man for most of the movie her communication style is very different from the others. She tries to make her voice sound like a man and say things she thinks they would say.

At a few points in the movie she forgets to talk in a manly voice, but surprisingly does not give her cover away. There weren’t many uses on nonverbal communication/codes throughout the movie. I can honestly only think of a few things. In the opening scene when Shan Yu appears over The Wall, the Chinese soldier lights a big torch and says “Now all of China knows you’re here,” Also the cricket, who plays on of the sidekicks of Mulan is silent throughout the whole film. But through his gestures, as well as Mushu being able to know what he’s saying, helps the audience understand the cricket.

There are a few main beliefs and values that are reveled throughout this film. In the begging of the movie we see Mulan’s father praying to their families ancestors. The ancestors are of great importance to her family. They believe that the ancestors will bring Mulan protecting with helping her fight in the battle. They also have a high value in their families honor. The littlest things that someone could do would bring their family so many dishonors. There is a scene in the movie where Mulan is to meet with the Match Maker so she can help find Mulan a husband.

But through many clumsy mistakes the Match Maker is furious and tells Mulan that she will never bring her family honor. When her parents and grandmother hear of the news they are greatly disappointed in her. That is one of the main reasons she goes off to fight in the war. Doing this Mulan believes that she will be able to bring her family honor. There are a plenty of issues of power and hierarchy that are used in this film. At one point in the movie there are a few men sent in from the imperial city to give the town a message. The Emperor has ordered one man from every family must serve in the imperial army.

This clearly shows just how powerful the Emperor is and how he can change a family so fast. There is also a scene in the movie where Shang (left in charge by his father General Li) has power over everything that goes on in the camp. There are some men fighting after dinner and as soon as he walks in the men immediately stop and salute him. There is also a scene when Shang is not thrilled with how Ping (Mulan) is training. He wants to “make a man out of her” but she just isn’t meeting his expectations. He tells her that in the morning she has to go back home. These two examples show how powerful he is over the men in the army.

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