October 3, 2017


Mary Poppins Is a Retelling of the Bible (Jason Rhode, October 3, 2017, Paste)

Simple: The 1964 movie Mary Poppins is a retelling of the Bible. It's a tale of the cosmic struggle between God and the Devil. Call it the Book of Job reimagined, or Damn Yankees, or any of those old stories where Good and Evil cleverly duel for a single man's soul. [...]

At the beginning of the film, Mr. Banks' allegiances clearly tilt in favor of the bank. He adores his place in life (as a prominent financier) and he covets future position. Because he loves those trinkets, his boss Mr. Dawes Sr. has power over him. After all, George Banks has a position of some authority in the money industry, and he's on the verge of being made partner. Mr. Dawes Sr. and the rest of the bank board have every reason to push George towards conformity. In turn, George Banks has every reason to comply, at the forfeit of his family and his soul.

Then this eccentric au pair from the clouds arrives. She descends without warning, as the bats do at the beginning of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This changes everything.

We know who Mary (Julie Andrews) is. As Madonna put it, just like a dream, she is not what she seems. She comes from the sky; she literally sits on a cloud. She's perfect, prim, unknowable. She has love for her new charges, the Banks children, but her doctrine is strictly enforced. She has all these rules for practically perfect people.

If that's true, if the movie Mary Poppins is Biblical, and Mary is God, then it's pretty clear who Bert (Dick Van Dyke) represents. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name--but what's troubling is the nature of his game.

Posted by at October 3, 2017 7:25 PM