The Mermaid (Rusalka) (2008)
The Mermaid (Rusalka) (2008)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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Critic Reviews for The Mermaid (Rusalka)
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Audience Reviews for The Mermaid (Rusalka)
Mariya Shalaeva as Alisa Titova is an example how good actress can do anything... easy! Mermaid is an extraordinary bizarre tale of a young girl called Alisa, who, as a little girl, lived by the beach and thought that she was a mermaid. Her grotesque mother and grandmother raised her, and later on in her life she is forced to confront reality when she moves to Moscow with her family. There as a teenager she discovers all the wonders of the world, including love, jobs and friendship, all seen through an impossibly optimistic and offbeat sensibility. Mermaid is somehow a Russian version of Amelie, and everything in this story is utterly charming and fantastically upbeat! Music combined with the dreamy cinematography tinged with realism, the quirky screenplay spiced by the awesome central performances from the two girls playing Alisa, who will make you fall in love. Alisa is endearingly odd character, so charmingly offbeat and naive, while remaining startlingly independent and fierce. Film which was an official nominee for the Oscar for Best Foreign Movie in 2009... Wonderful work!
Called the Russian Amelie, this had a bit of the magic of the French film and had a young, idealistic woman as its central character, but lacked the charm and the playfulness of that other work. Alice (Mariya Shalaeva), as translated in the subtitles, is the young woman who views life through a prism of optimism that seems out of place in such a bleak existence. Her mother seemed only to care about her own pleasure. Her grandmother was an eternal sad sack. And her choice in men proved based more on pity than on attractiveness. She often retreated into a fantasy/dream world that helped to inform her choices. The darkness about the edges of this seemingly idyllic film eventually close in and obliterate the feeling that everything would turn out alright. The ending seemed almost shockingly unnecessary and almost ruined the experience for this viewer. Interesting, but not one I would care to sit through again.
Saw it on DVD through a Blockbuster exclusive. Nice to know Blockbuster is promoting indie foreign films like this. I thought it was between ok to good. It wasn't too weird, but weird enough to keep an ok story interesting. It had it's cute moments in protecting her guy crush from oncoming traffic (or did she?), good character development, and some interesting shots of Moscow. Nevertheless, it didn't come off as anything too great. It was ok or decent. More risks like this movie should be taken and Blockbuster should be appreciated in not just pushing blockbusters.
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