THE LITTLE MERMAID (2018) REVIEWED
“The Little Mermaid” is a modern re-imaging of the original tale. But, it also exists because of the tale. Confused? Well, The Little Mermaid exists in this universe and a little girl thinks she found the actual mermaid. Shirley MacLaine plays an elderly eccentric who backs up the little girl’s beliefs, but she is in this weird framing device.
In the past, everyone wonders why the Mermaid has shown up in 1920s/30s Mississippi. If this had aired on Special Delivery in the 80s, I would be willing to undertake it as a kid. However, something’s up.
The fight to figure out if Poppy Drayton is the Mermaid lasts barely 10 minutes. That’s when we find out that their is a circus ringmaster using and abusing her for his sideshow. There is a push about how unfair Jim Crow is and I’m starting to wonder if this is the Depression or not. At times, I could even place the main action as taking place in the 1950s.
Even then, it’s a Mississippi in the early part of the 20th Century that allows black people to eat and share space with white people. So, historical accuracy didn’t seem to be a sticking point in this mermaid picture.
While I would love to see how little girls and other kids respond to the film, I’m a little dumbfounded. Why was there a need for a revamp of The Little Mermaid in a Pre Civil Rights South with no implication of racism?
Plus, the Shirley MacLaine framing device feels like it’s 3 times longer than it needs to be for clarity’s sake. If you manage to see this during a weekend trip to AMC, I’d love to hear what you think. Such an oddity.
- 1 hr and 25 mins
- AMC Theaters/MVP Studios