Tuesday, February 09, 2016

of the Mermaid: a fun movie with a not too preachy message of environmental awareness

I watched the movie, "The Mermaid" yesterday during the 1st day of Chinese New Year. No doubt it is a funny show, but it has a nice message about the environmental awareness too. One of the funniest part of the show is when the police sketched the mermaid as per the main character's description. Hilarious. Heh.

A mermaid: half a person, half a fish -- but which half?

On a side note, there's a reference to 'Admiral Zheng' which I'm not so sure whether it refers to the Admiral Zheng He. The timeline about "600 years ago" seems fit, though.

Auspicious red is the colour of Chinese New Year, but this festive offering wants you to turn green - with environmental awareness.

What is the point of making more money if you cannot take a breath of clean air or drink a drop of clean water?

The stark message here is that before humans destroy Earth with wanton development and endless appetites, they should stop and think about the consequences.

Wait a minute, is this a movie from the Hong Kong funnyman who gave viewers entertaining laugh riots such as Kung Fu Hustle (2004) and Shaolin Soccer (2001)?

Not to worry, despite the save- the-earth memo, this is very much a Stephen Chow-directed work and that means ludicrous situations and nonsensical jokes.

Some of the best bits involve Taiwanese singer-actor Show Lo gamely dressed up as a dreadlocked octopus who gets his tentacles manhandled, Liu Xuan trying desperately to convey the idea of a mermaid to two disbelieving, pedantic cops and Shan getting repeatedly thwarted as she tries to attack Liu.

There are also throwaway jokes, such as when a command to "gun kai" (get lost) is obeyed by underlings literally rolling ("gun") away ("kai").

What does not quite work is a bland Kitty Zhang (previously seen in Chow's CJ7, 2008) as a vampish businesswoman who wants to get into bed with Liu on Green Gulf.

And despite China star Deng's (The Four, 2012) best efforts at big expressions, one cannot help but wonder if the film would have been funnier if Chow, who can be both exaggerated and supremely deadpan, had acted instead.

But he would probably have been criticised for lining up a romance with the 19-year-old Lin had he done so - not the kind of splash he would want Mermaid to make.
From Straits Times, "Mermaid with a green message".

With Hong Kong filmmaker Stephen Chow's latest work "The Mermaid" set to hit screens across China during next month's Spring Festival, the cast have taken time out to praise the director for his attention to detail and his desire to achieve perfection.

Chow is known for having strict demands of the actors and actresses who star in his films, but the cast, especially his leading stars Show Luo and Kris Wu, said they still enjoyed filming the science fiction comedy.

"I have to repeat my performance several times to meet the director's demands. It's toilsome but fun too."

"Every detail of the film is the best it can be because it's carefully selected by Grandmaster Sing."

The theme song of the movie, which was recently released, is a classic called "You Are Still the Best in the World."

Originally from the 1983 hit drama "Legend of the Condor Heroes," the song was re-recorded by Karen Mok and Adam Cheng.

It marks the first cooperation between Chow and Mok in 15 years.

The film is scheduled to be released on Feb. 8, the first day of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Monkey.
From China.org.cn, "Stephen Chow pursues perfection in 'Mermaid'".

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