ABBA – the enduring Swedish musical group and its songs are dancing back to the magical island of Kalokairi, in this sequel which also serves as a prequel to the 2008 jukebox musical romantic comedy MAMA MIA that starred the incomparable Meryl Streep as Donna Sheridan along with Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper, Amanda Seyfried and Christine Baranski. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd and written by Catherine Johnson MAMMA MIA! was based on the 1999 musical of the same name and was a colorfully musical delight for the fans of broadway musicals and ABBA of course.
Ten years later, the sequel moves back and forth in telling how it all happened to create another pop bliss. Lily James plays the young Donna while Alexa Davies and Jessica Keenan Wynn play Donna BFF the young Rosie and Tanya respectively. Jeremy Irvine is the young Sam, Josh Dylan is Bill and Hugh Skinner is the young Harry.
But we miss Meryl Streep as Sohie’s three dads Sam (Pierce Brosnan), Harry (Colin Firth) and Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) make an appearance. Realizing that her love of life Sky (Dominic Cooper) might not make it on time for the grand reopening of the hotel, memories of her mother starts haunting Sophie. The sequel sees multiple things happening at one time, Sophie is in worry about her relationship status, the preparations for the party are in swing and its Andy Garcia looking after the whole event.
A confession – I am one of those who are grown on songs of ABBA, Boney M, Bee Gees etc, so music is the ‘key’ factor and the die – hards will be surprised when the lesser known I’ve Been Waiting For You , When I Kissed the Teacher, and My Love, My Life are performed.
And when the platinum blonde, the magnificent Cher as grandmother sings Fernando, you are pulled back to your past, when the iconic Dancing Queen is performed, it’s glad to find that the irresistible feeling is still intact, that’s the power of music and the reason enough to love Abba till music lasts.
Lily James after CINDERELLA, DARKEST HOUR, gets her best moments on screen as the open-hearted Donna. Alexa Davies and Jessica Keenan Wynn as the young Rosie and Tanya are pitch perfect. The dads Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård do their part with conviction.
Director Ol Parker stays true to the demands of the sequel and like MAMA MIA, MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN is an unashamed, escapist fun that is so colourful, nostalgic and beautiful like a cool carefree nap on an exotic beach during the summer vacation with numbers like Mamma Mia, Super Trouper, and of course Dancing Queen playing in the background it’s surely a moment for those who love retro and pop/disco. Plus when you have Cher singing Fernando as a bonus, it’s worth.. MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN, My My how can I resist you.