Romantic comedy is tricky thing to get right. It is a movie genre that gets dismissed probably more than any other.
Around an island, The Green Gulf, a wealthy real estate developer named Lui Xuan (Chao Deng – The Breakup Guru, Assembly) is trying to keep a protected species away from it so he can build on it. To accomplish this he is also killing off the mermaid/merman population in the area. To combat this the mermaids send Shan (Yun Lin – The Dreaming Man) to lure him into their clutches so they can off him. Instead of this happening, it turns out that the two fall in love with each other.
Because Xuan falls for Shan he changes. This leads to a change in direction for The Green Gulf project. A change in direction which is not appreciated by a mysterious organization. Soon Xuan is having to protect Shan from this deadly organization.
Chinese director Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle, Shaolin Soccer) has built himself quite a reputation with his previous films. He has demonstrated himself very able with slapstick comedy. While The Mermaid is probably no as good a film as Kung Fu Hustle or Shaolin Soccer it is still worth a watch.
For me, the best part of the story was the subplots about valuing the Earth’s ecosystem and how much important we place upon money/wealth. As a warning there are some potentially disturbing scenes in which animals are killed. Though I think it is necessary at times to do this so that we see the damage being down to animals and the Earth due to our greed. These life lessons are hidden deep within the laughs, romance and action, but are there and manage to have an effect without hitting you on the head with the message.
For Western audiences who are used to big budgets films and that standard of special effects or CGI, this film pales in comparison in that regard. Much of the special effects are low level.
There are plenty of funny moments in The Mermaid. Most of them occur during the scenes in which Shan is trying to kill Xuan. Lin is more than capable of the physical style of comedy required by her director. She is also good at delivering her lines in a very straight manner; no matter how funny they are.
- The Making of The Mermaid
- The Mermaid: Behind the Scenes
- “Invincible” Music Video