Movie Review Mavka: The Forest Song

Hello everyone I am back. Today I will be reviewing the movie Mavka: The Forest Song. This movie is from the Ukraine, but it is in English. I became curious about the movie because I heard a song from it on Spotify’s EQUAL Global: Top Artists 2023 Playlist. The song is called Forest Song by Khrystyna Soloviy. I could tell it was from a movie, and when I saw it in Hulu, I couldn’t help but watch it.

Mavka: The Forest Song is about a forest spirit named Mavka. She is the soul of the forest. She meets Lucas when he wanders into the forest. Lucas was sent into the forest by Kylina, a greedy woman who wants more of the magic that keeps her young and wants him to find it. Lucas agrees because he needs the money to pay for the cure for his ailing uncle, Leo.

Mavka has been warned about humans and how they are the forest spirits’ enemies. But Mavka thinks that Lucas might be different. He is kind and gentle, not greedy and selfish like she’s been made to believe.

Lucas her his flute, and plays a small tune, and her tattoos begin to glow. It also happens when they touch. Mavka begins to fall for Lucas and will do anything to help him and his uncle. Including covering for him saying he is her friend Hush’s distant cousin and dressing him up to look like a forest spirit to hide him. Mavka gives Lucas some of the magic to heal his uncle and it works almost instantly. But he must promise never to come back. Lucas agrees, but as he goes to leave he drops and breaks his flute.

Even though she knows she shouldn’t, Mavka decides she must venture into the human world to return Lucas’ flute to him. She uses magic to repair it and sets off towards his village. She is aware that she looks different and uses magic to change her turquoise hair to brown and steals a scarecrow’s outfit to wear.

Lucas is delighted to see her when Mavka shows up at his uncle’s house. Because Lucas promised to show her music, he brings her to the village festival where his band is performing. No one suspects anything. At the end of the night he fulfills his promise and plays his flute for everyone, including Mavka. But Mavka begins to glow again. Not a normal thing in the village of course. This sparks panic among the citizens and Kylina says they must destroy the forest to get rid of them.

Despite the choices she has been making, Mavka is named the next Forest Guardian, much to some other forest nymphs’ dismay. They believe that Mavka is too kind and gullible to be the next Guardian. Was this a good decision made by the Great Spirits? Is Mavka too kind? Too gullible? Or could it be just what the forest and the humans need?

War breaks out between the humans and the forest spirits. Mavka does everything she can to stop the fighting and realizes there’s nothing she can do to stop it. Except give her life in exchange for a power that one of the Great Spirits can give her. She accepts the gift knowing she will forever cease to exist. But will this stop the fighting?

Uncle Leo begins to talk sense into the other villagers and they stop fighting. Lucas again begins playing his flute for her to wake her from the trance she is in. It breaks the hold it has on her and she does not lose her life to save her fellow forest people. The power of not only music, but love, has saved the day. The humans and forest spirits can now live in harmony after all.

I did notice a couple things in this movie. One, that it has a lot of similarities to FernGully: The Last Rainforest, of which I am a big fan. But also, I thought it was not a coincidence that, being a Ukrainian film, the bad guys working with the selfish woman were Russian. Not an important detail, but definitely noticed given the current relationship between Russia and the Ukraine. The movie is definitely aimed at children but I think children and adults alike can easily enjoy this film.

I give Mavka: The Forest Song a 7/10 because it was cute and tells a good story. But I also feel like the story wasn’t the most original. I also enjoyed the art style and the music. The, obviously, gay character, Frol (Kylina’s assistant) is also hilarious and makes the movie fun. I would definitely recommend the movie.

Mavka: The Forest Song can be found on Hulu, for free, and YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, and Apple TV for a small fee ranging from $1.99 to $4.99.

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