HCAU Reviews ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’

Meryl Streep is an absolute ICON in her own right. On top of being a world-class actress and a leader of female empowerment within Hollywood, she has sung and danced her way into the hearts of many with her portrayal of Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia! (2008). This left many people questioning how a sequel of the musical would have any success without her.

 Well, to start with you hire the legend Cher to play Donna’s mother. Cher steals the show despite only featuring for the later stages of the film through a powerful rendition of the ABBA hit ‘Fernando’. Cher’s arrival is in classic musical style – over-the-top, unexpected and a little bit cringey but it’s Cher, so she can do what she wants.

 

Lily James (of Cinderella and Downtown Abbey fame) plays the young Donna in a series of flashbacks which show her journey to the Greek Island where she eventually settled with daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried). Young Donna is a firecracker, who wants to see every corner of the world to find her place within it. Along the way, she meets three very handsome but very different male companions. The casting of Bill, Harry and Sam must be applauded as the actors who take on the roles of the younger versions of Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan and Stellan Skarsgard (Hugh Skinner, Jeremy Irvine, and Josh Dylan respectively) display similar mannerisms, appearances, and characteristics throughout.  Young Donna’s run-ins with the three men are all special in their own way and each has an ABBA duet which represents their relationship.

 

 

Although we see the relationships Donna had with the young men we also see the beginning of Donna & The Dynamos and her friendship with Rosie and Tanya. They come to Greece to visit Donna but find their friend heartbroken by Sam, longing after Bill and feeling sympathy for Harry. The girls rally round Donna and an absolutely amazing version of ‘Mamma Mia’ starts in a small Greek café/bar. We already loved the friendship that Donna, Tanya, and Rosie have but to see them as young women, having fun and pining over boys, we see ourselves in them and start to think about who the Donna, Rosie, and Tanya of our own friend groups is.

 

The series of flashbacks end with Donna deciding to stay on the island as Rosie and Tanya wave her goodbye, only Donna knows that she won’t be on her own for much longer – she is pregnant with her beloved Sophie.

When we see life in the current day breaking up the flashbacks we learn that Sophie has re-built the hotel in her mother’s honour and massive opening party is planned. Rosie and Tanya arrive to help an emotional Sophie as she struggles with material issues between her and Skye alongside the heartbreak of not having her mother beside her. Sam, has stayed with Sophie but is clearly struggling with grief himself but in typical father figure fashion, he holds it together for Sophie’s sake. When a massive storm puts the launch party into question the arrival of Bill and Harry ignites performance of ‘Dancing Queen’ and the group reunite to celebrate Donna’s legacy. We learn that Sophie, in the exact same place as her mother, is pregnant and this brings her comfort as she says, “she’s never felt closer to her (Donna).”

 

 

 

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again will lift you up with fun, laughter, and song but will also play with your heartstrings as we see a side to all of the characters that had previously been hidden. Donna clearly lived a life filled with adventures and although she may have made some questionable decisions, she leaves behind a legacy of love, happiness, and music. The little Greek island is where Donna found herself and where everyone who followed her found their love, passion and favourite ABBA song.

 

All photos were sourced from Google images.