So just watched this film and I was pleasantly surprised. I’d watched it before years ago, but I found myself finding new realizations. The first time I thought it had such a basic plot, but it’s really not so. A lot, I feel, was kept for in-between-the-lines, but honestly I was surprised once I found it and it really seemed to run deep. It is a musical based on Abba and would usually be something more for the theatre, but I think that vibe is what made it great. If you’ve ever been to a great theatrical performance you’ll know that there is a longing for more; a way for the stage to become more, to step into the world. Mamma Mia does that.
The base of the movie is that a young woman, Sophie, is about to get married, but she doesn’t know who her father is. She was raised by her mother on an island villa in Greece, but she’s always longed to know who her father was especially as she’s about to walk down the aisle. When she finds her mom’s diary she founds out that there are three possibilities. Desperate, she invites them all to her wedding, assuming she’d know which one once they arrived. Sophie’s mother becomes more then startled when her three summer time romances of 20 years ago appear at her villa. It arouses feelings she’d put aside in all her years being a single mom and a business owner. But the question remains: who is Sophie’s father and should the past just stay in the past?
I think this movie speaks volumes. You have Sophie’s mother and her two best friends; they’re older in years but they all are fiery, saucy, independent women. Honestly, it’s refreshing. If you want feminism embodied then these are a few great examples. They aren’t ashamed of their sexuality, they take risks and they are proud, independent women. If you watch the movie really watch and look. Sophie’s mom alone is a shining example. When she got pregnant she didn’t chase down one of the three men and straddle them with the responsibility, her own mother told her to never come home, but she didn’t give up. She raised Sophie on her own, even buying her own villa hotel within 5 years. But you can also see how her past has haunted her. Her first romance was really the one that stuck with her. The pain and resentment when it ended becomes obvious throughout the film. She goes through so many levels of emotion. Happiness, sadness, anger, confusion and finally during one song at the end she finally tells him how it destroyed her (it’s the song “Winner takes it all”). You can see through natural progression how after he left her 20 years ago she probably ran to the other two relationships for comfort and out of anger towards him.
Sophie is also interesting. She’s clearly the doting daughter, but she’s also confused. She wants to be there for her mom and help her out at the villa, but she feels this emptiness inside. Sophie thinks that emptiness will be filled if she finds her father, but when faced with three real possibilities she becomes panicked. She doesn’t know which one is her father, and she’s terrified of her mom founding out. Sophie’s conflicted. Too many things are happening all at once and it throws everything into confusion. She grows to like all three men and she connects with each on a different level. But she’s also faced with her own wedding. She feels she’s doing the right thing. but learning about her mom’s past makes her feel uneasy. She wants to prove she’s not her mother, but also she begins to realize how special and beautiful her mother’s past was.
Throughout the film there’s a lot of little things. I think if you watched it once and didn’t see some of those things then you need to watch it again. Look for the meaning behind the words, look at their faces. These are some great actors in these films and a great actor not only use his/her words but can also speak with facial expressions and body movement. So, keep an eye out. There is a lot more to this movie then Abba music.