Genre: Musical, fantasy, adventure
The highly anticipated live-action remake of Disney’s The Little Mermaid has finally arrived.
When Halle Bailey was announced in the role of Ariel in 2019, the court of public opinion was divided on whether or not she was a good choice.
Fast forward to 2023 and Bailey has proven the negative critics wrong.
The remake follows the same story as the original with slight changes to reinvigorate the beloved classic.
Ariel is a young mermaid fascinated with the human world despite her father, King Triton, strictly forbidding her from going to the surface and interacting with humans.
Ariel’s determination increases when she saves a human from a shipwreck. After making a deal with the evil witch Ursula, Ariel trades her voice and mermaid powers to become a human and finally experience life on the surface.
She soon discovers the consequences of her actions and with the help of her sea friends, Ariel fixes her mistake and defeats the evil witch.
Many elements from the original animated movie have been changed, including diverse casting and an updated musical score, which enables the film to resonate with a contemporary audience.
While the casting of Melissa McCarthy as Ursula and Javier Bardem as King Triton are well worth mentioning, the star of the film is without a doubt Bailey, despite this being her first lead role on the silver screen.
Her perfect innocent charm is beautiful to watch and enables her to slip seamlessly into a believable portrayal of Ariel that is maintained throughout the film despite challenging scenes that force Bailey to rely on her non-verbal cues more than dialogue.
The chemistry between Bailey and Jonah Hauer-King who plays Prince Eric, perfectly encapsulates the Disney romance of the original movie.
Under the Sea and Part of Your World is standout musical performances that have notably leaked out of the theatre and become regular features on personal playlists worldwide.
The CGI characters are one of the very few letdowns of the film. The characters of Flounder and Sebastian lack the appeal of the original and look quite boring compared to the rest of the colorful sea animals.
This film also falls into the trap of being too dark, especially in the scenes involving the evil witch Ursula.
Perhaps it was a specific design choice, but those scenes are difficult to watch, especially in a dark theatre.
This Disney remake is worth the watch. It might not match the greatness of the original, but it feels worthy of being part of our world.
The Little Mermaid is now showing at cinemas.