‘The Little Mermaid’ Review: Magic and wonder came from underwater

THE LITTLE MERMAID (2023) Review
Directed by Rob Marshall

It was always tricky to adapt something people have always loved and treasured, something that they protect. But Disney isn’t backing out on the opportunity of retelling their classic stories for the new generation. It’s something scary but at the same time exciting and with the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid, Disney may have done something right, yet again.

It’s safe to say that The Little Mermaid, at least for me, is the best live-action adaptation of a Disney princess movie. The magic and wonder fill the screen from start to finish. And the musical numbers did not disappoint. Halle Bailey is definitely a star, and she knows her character Ariel inside and out.

There are changes definitely but most of the changes made the film better.

This is the first time I saw Halle Bailey in a movie. I actually do not know her, a friend only showed me her music video with her twin sister but that’s it. And with all the backlash, and all the doubts, I think Halle proved them wrong. Her charisma is there, she knows what she’s doing and she knows what she can offer. Her voice is just divine, perfect for Ariel. And her eyes speak the truth of what Ariel was going through especially during the musical numbers.

Not many realize this but ‘Part of Your World’ is such a sad and emotional song. Ariel wants to belong to a world where she feels at home and that’s what I felt during Bailey’s version of it and how Marshall interpreted it visually. I cried during that sequence, I cannot deny that. It sums up how Ariel has been living her life and what she wants, to free herself from pretending to be something that she’s not.

The Little Mermaid isn’t perfect but it’s visually delightful, the performances were impressive and the story has a lot of layers. It’s enjoyable and at the same time, there are lessons about finding yourself and fighting for what you believe in and who you love. Whether you’re a mermaid who falls in love with a human, a prince who wants to do more than just be an heir, an outcast sister who wants to claim power or a father who just wants to protect his kingdom especially her daughters.

4 OUT OF 5 STARS

‘The Little Mermaid’ opens in Philippine cinemas on May 24 in 2D, 3D, 3D/4Dx and IMAX 3D. Rated G by the MTRCB.

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