Renowned director Stephen Chow's The Mermaid debuts on Blu-ray and DVD today, July 5th from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. (It has been available in digital form since May 17th.) China’s highest grossing film of all time, The Mermaid's domestic theatrical release in the U.S. scored the biggest opening day and weekend box office ever by a limited release Chinese-language film.
Newcomer Jelly Lin (a.k.a. Yun Lin) plays Shan, a lovely if simple-minded mermaid, who is tasked with seducing industrialist Liu Xuan (Chao Deng, The Four and Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame). He and Ruo-lan (actress Yuqi Zhang, who was also featured in Chow's CJ7) plan to develop Green Gulf. This is the only place where the world's few remaining mermaids and mermen, and their friend an octopus man (Show Luo, seen in Chow's Journey to the West), reside. Seduction is to be but a prelude to killing Liu Xuan, the only way Shan and her people believe they can preserve their habitat.
|Shen (Jelly Lin)|
Jelly Lin gives a remarkable performance in this, her cinematic debut. She is an incredibly talented comedienne with a remarkably expressive face. She is a true revelation, and it's no surprise that she received the Screen International Rising Star Asia Award at the New York Asian Film Festival, where The Mermaid was screened, on July 2nd.
The film also features some interesting cameos, including one by another legendary Hong Kong producer/director, Tsui Hark.
The Mermaid is part comedy, part romance, part fantasy, and part fairy tale, all of which add up to a charming and delightful film.
-- Audio: Mandarin (PRC) 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital
-- Subtitles: English, English SDJ, Chinese Traditional, French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Polish, Spanish, Thai, Off
-- Special Features:
-- “The Making of The Mermaid”(13:25)
-- Invincible Music Video about the film's theme song (1:34)
-- “The Mermaid: Behind the Scenes”(1:49)
AsianCineFest Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars; very highly recommended