Retelling of classic ‘Little Mermaid’ tale drowns any possible success


This is not a review of the well-known Disney movie “The Little Mermaid,” but a retelling of the classic tale. This version of “The Little Mermaid” came out on Netflix in 2018 but failed to make a splash in the media. I watched the movie so you didn’t have to.

There weren’t any great expectations going into the movie, but when “The Little Mermaid” opened with a story being told in animation, knowing it was a live action movie, there was a slight possibility for greatness. Sadly, this was not the case. The movie slowly went downhill from there.

The animation part was close to how the original tale went, where a mermaid fell in love with a human. In this retelling, the human falls in love with another human when the mermaid returns to sea, but by the time the mermaid found out, it was too late. The mermaid had given away her soul, and she couldn’t return to the sea.

A grandmother was telling the story to her grandchildren for bed, and as the children didn’t believe in mermaids, the grandmother was determined to delve deeper into a story of how she knew of a girl who met a mermaid, which follows the story of how this came to be.

Many years ago, there was a young reporter, Cam, who brought his sick niece, Elle, out to Mississippi to visit a circus. This contained magical things, such as magical water that healed people. Cam doesn’t believe in anything as such, but he had to find out for himself, especially if it could help Elle.

Unlike Cam, Elle believed in the mystical, and soon Cam would, too, be influenced the deeper he gets into the story behind the circus.

The movie was poorly scripted as some lines were either too cheesy or too cliche. This came along with inadequate acting from the actors, causing the film to seem unbelievable in every aspect.

The good thing about movies is that they help people escape reality, but this movie doesn’t cut it. There was no real substance to the plot, and it’s hard, as a viewer, to get emotionally invested in the movie.

Towards the end of the film, special effects came into play as characters revealed their true powers, but it was painful to watch. The effects were so horrible that it was laughable, and they shouldn’t be portrayed that way in the middle of the climax.

Nothing about this movie seemed deep, nor did “The Little Mermaid” reel in any die-hard fans. What the movie lacked overshadowed the good points, such as the lead actor, William Moseley who starred in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” and the potential of the plot. Hopefully, in the future, more adaptations of classic tales will be told, just in a better way than this movie was portrayed.  

2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)