Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Review

My, my, how can I resist you?

Picking up just a few years after the initial Mamma Mia’s events, this film presents a mixture of the past and the present, forming a kind of two-in-one prequel and sequel. In the present, Sophie and Sky are married, they still live on that heavenly (and fictitious) Greek island of Kalokairi and Sophie, now pregnant, has built a hotel in her late mother’s honour. Throughout the movie, we see snippets of Donna Sheridan’s past, featuring the spectacular Lily James as young Donna and the three younger versions of her possible baby-daddies. This movie takes you on quite a journey and it is a whole lot of fun.

Before I walked into the cinema to watch the movie, I was in an inexplicable bad mood. Not only that, but I made the mistake of going to the Labia Theatre on a Saturday night which left the queues for both snacks and drinks never-ending (and virtually stationary). With no popcorn to accompany me and a wardrobe lacking in an oversized denim jacket (which seemed a uniform for Labia-goers that evening), I doubted that I would feel any emotion towards a slightly cheesy musical sequel. But trust Mamma Mia to turn my internal frown upside down. About 10 minutes in, I had the widest smile on my face and was singing snippets of ABBA songs from the time I left the cinema all the way home. And to be honest, I’m still singing Angel Eyes two weeks later.

My favourite scene from the movie would have to be the one in which young Donna and the Dynamos perform Mamma Mia together (pretty fitting, right?). Donna and the Dynamos have such chemistry together and their collaborative oomph brings such charisma to the characters and the song. Despite the fact that Donna begins singing the song from a broken heart, she channels her energy into what becomes a jovial and vibrant celebration of youthfulness and the freedom to feel. Not only that, but the stunning vocals, killer outfits, and all-around stellar performances made this scene such a memorable one.

ABBA, Meryl Streep, a Greek Island, zero slut-shaming of a sexually autonomous female lead - what’s not to love? Sure, it is a generally light-hearted romantic comedy musical, but it is one that explores themes of freedom, empowerment, autonomy and love. Plus, Cher is in this one. I mean… I’m sold. In short, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is no masterpiece of cinema, but it is vibrant, energising and exactly what it needed to be.