The side effect of binge watching movies all weekend is reviews…la laalalala la.
Okay that was a horrible, horrible joke at the expense of The Chainsmokers’ Side Effects ft. Emily Warren (watch the video featuring Riverdale’s Camila Mendes if you haven’t already) but whatever works. :p
So after reading To Kill A Kingdom I went on to read and watch everything that’s mermaid – Sea Witch by Sarah Henning, The Oyster Thief by Sonia Faruqi and my topic of review today, Netflix’s The Little Mermaid (2018).
Featuring William Moseley of The Chronicles of Narnia fame and Poppy Drayton, best known for The Shannara Chronicles, this film is a very VERY lose adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen novel of the same name. The more appropriate way to describe this film would be if I asked you to imagine if The Greatest Showman and The Little Mermaid conceived a child. Even your wildest imagination cannot conjure such a travesty, right?
Without beating around the bush, I’ll tell you that I intensely dislike this film and it was a drag right from the start. The Little Mermaid begins with Shirley Maclaine narrating the classic tale of Ariel to her grand-daughters who, in their sweet naivete, ask if these fantastical creatures were a reality. To which she responds that conventional stories paint them as just magical stories for little children, but would you ask a person who had actually met a mermaid, they’d say differently.
Flashback to the story of a journalist Cam, with a young niece Elle, who has a mysterious breathing ailment. Along with his niece, he travels the country chasing a story about magical waters that can cure any malady. What makes the waters so magical? Mermaids in the Mississippi river. One evening they visit the town’s circus, that features a mermaid trapped in glass. Mystified, Cam searches for the identity of the mermaid and comes to know of a prophecy that speaks of a young girl who’s born on land but has the heart of a mermaid. As he digs further, he learn that the mermaid is trapped on land by the circus master, a wicked wizard holding her hostage by controlling her soul.
The movies drags to Cam and Elle trying to help the mermaid escape while trying to understand the prophecy while trying to look for a cure for Elle’s breathing ailment.
Too much going on for just an hour and half of storytelling, in my opinion. While Moseley and Drayton are great actors, the story they’ve been served with leaves a lot to be desired. Also, Drayton needs to be told that every fairytale heroine does not need to speak in a breathy voice. *eye roll*
I can honestly say that I did not enjoy this version of The Little Mermaid. The writers did not write a cohesive story, the actors over-acted and the film was a fail. I get that we would not have some of the most iconic films of all time had filmmakers not experimented, however, sometimes it’s just best to stick to a conventional retelling.
Film: The Little Mermaid (2018)
Written & directed by: Blake Harris
Cast: William Moseley, Poppy Drayton, Loreto Peralta, Armando Gutierrez, Shirley MacLaine, Claire Crosby
Until next time, U.