The Mermaid

Creativity in cinema.

Two articles today.  The first is from Reuters which features a short article on the comedy film, The Mermaid, setting a record, and the second article is from the NY Times which features a short review of the film.

I’ve been so busy that I have hardly paid attention to the news.  If you would like to insert a review for this movie, contact me with the review for approval, and I’ll add it to this post.

Reuters news

Chinese film ‘The Mermaid’ sets China box office record

NY Times review

Review: ‘The Mermaid’ Features Stephen Chow Behind the Camera

FEB. 19, 2016

The remarkable Hong Kong filmmaker and comic performer Stephen Chow (“Shaolin Soccer,” “Kung Fu Hustle”) has in recent years opted to stay behind the camera. And perhaps it is his absence from the screen that made Sony keep his new movie, “The Mermaid,” low-profile for its United States release.

Although the film has been breaking box-office records all over Asia since its Chinese New Year-pegged release overseas, the presumption seems to be that whatever non-Asian-American audience Mr. Chow has here wants to see him doing the pratfalls, not just plotting and filming them.

While second-guessing the marketing strategies of movie conglomerates is happily not the concern of this reviewer, it does seem a shame that this exhilarating, bizarre, good-hearted, blatantly obvious sci-fi-fantasy-slapstick eco-fable isn’t getting wider fanfare.

The story sees the cute but awkward mermaid Shan (Yun Lin) on a mission to seduce and assassinate the vulgar entrepreneur and despoiler of the environment Liu Xuan (Chao Dng). Egging Shan on is a militant uncle who’s half-octopus (Shao Luo) while the matriarch of the mermaid clan is more of a follow-your-heart type.

This is crucial because — of course — Shan and Liu Xuan fall for each other. “The Mermaid” is no ordinary fantastical rom-com though, encompassing as it does weaponized sea urchins, incredibly delicious roasted chickens, man-octopus self-mutilation and other comic oddities. The slapstick is incredible, but that’s only one aspect of the movie’s spectacular humor: The relentlessly absurdist scene in which Liu Xuan tries to convince two police officers that he was kidnapped by a mermaid is probably the funniest thing that’ll play on a screen this year, and maybe next.

Things take a brutal turn when the businesswoman femme fatale Ruolan (Zhang Yuqi) begins an attack on the sea-people’s hide-out. The resolution returns things to sweet and goofy ground, but Mr. Chow’s signature is so sure that the tonal changes have a unity born of conviction. Good show.

“The Mermaid” is not rated. In Mandarin, with English subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 34 minutes.


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I began writing Elle's Adventure in China (EACh) in June 2014 as a fun summer project, but as obstacles kept interfering with my plans, I forked and forked more options. I took writing this novel much more seriously in mid-July, and want to have it officially published someday in my lifetime. As many artists put their hearts into their projects, so do I. I did not start out liking to read, but a professor suggested a book for me for homework a few years ago, and it was an amazing book. Since then, I read for pleasure, and I hope my novel, Elle's Adventure in China, does the same for as many of you as possible. The same thing goes to writing. I did not like to write until I took a course where the professor and papers made me love to write. I hope every one of you find what makes you happy and dedicated to work. In May 2015, I started my other blog, Read and Write Here (R&WH), as a place to post other things that aren't China- and Chinese culture-related and not EACh. I share some of my memories and experiences from student teaching, irregular participation in Daily Prompts, etc. I'd like to have regular people and bloggers to write book reviews and post it on R&WH someday. Keep reading and writing!

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