Lily James talks us through ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’s’ triumphant and emotional ending
'I think it just gets better and better and better. It builds and builds to total delirium'
Warning: There are SPOILERS ahead for Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again’s conclusion. So if you haven’t seen the all singing and all dancing sequel then, first of all, you don’t know what you are missing, and, secondly, you probably shouldn't read ahead.
"Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again" is a luscious, beautiful, feel-good musical that will tempt even the most hardened cynic to break out in "Waterloo."
That is especially true of its conclusion. There are several moments where "Here We Again" appears to reach its crescendo, only to then somehow top what has just come before it.
First of all there is the appearance of Cher, which is more than enough to make the world feel like a better place. Especially because she is playing Meryl Streep’s mother, even though she there is just 3 years between them.
While most mere mortals would just be happy seeing Cher beam on screen, we are then treated to her singing the ABBA classic "Fernando" in all of its glory. What makes the performance even better is that she is belting it out directly to Andy Garcia and his magnificent beard.
"Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" soon reaches new heights, though. Because at the baptism of her and Sky (Dominic Cooper)’s newborn child, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) sees a vision of Meryl Streep’s Donna, who it is revealed at the start of the film had died a year earlier. Sophie basically recreates "Ghost" by having a sing-along with the apparition, just minus the sexual tension and the half-naked pottery sculpting.
Then "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" goes into overload, as the entire cast all come together to peform a final song over the top of the credits, for a sequence that is so blissful you’ll immediately pine to jump through the screen and join them in the ABBA wonderland.
I recently had the chance to speak to Lily James, who plays the younger version of Donna in "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again," and she admitted that all of the cast got wrapped up in the triumphant and emotional climax.
“The last half an hour of the film is just triumphant. I think it just gets better and better and better. It builds and builds to total delirium and gives you this release.”
“You are right on the edge of your seat and when I watched it at the premiere everyone got up and danced. It is an emotional climax. It is what the audience wants and what they have been waiting for."
James freely admitted that it helps that "Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again" has two secret cinematic weapons in Meryl Streep and Cher, who only pop up in the final act.
"The cinema erupted when they both arrived on screen. When you know that there are actors like Meryl and Cher, and all of them have decided to come back in whatever capacity, you know you are onto something powerful and something worthwhile.”
“And it is testament to how much they enjoyed making the first movie and refreshing it is an actor to make something so joyous.”