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Такое часто случается в мегаполисе…

SDFF, Denver — Russian director Anna Melikyan’s second feature Mermaid spins a fairy tale like story while maintaining all the harsh realities of everyday life.

A chance encounter on the beach spawns the tale of Alice, the daughter of a “Mermaid” whose only wishes are to see her father again and to become a ballerina. But after being denied the chance to take ballet lessons and catching her mother with another man, Alice takes a vow of silence and retreats to the comforts of her own imagination.

Years go by and Alice grows up silent. Now a teenager, Alice’s big break comes in the guise of a terrible storm which destroys her beachfront home. Moving to the city brings the hope of new experiences and possibilities. Alice gets the opportunity to go to a new school and even secures a job that suits her self-inflicted verbal protest – she becomes a walking cell phone mascot. Spending her days roaming the city and observing daily life is enjoyable for Alice, but she soon finds herself in the middle of a citywide riot brought on by the continuous defeat of the local football team.

Disappointed with the broken promises of her new city, Alice plans to leap from a local bridge. But like the storm that destroyed her home, this dark moment gives light to a new hope – another jumper named Sasha. Alice instantly becomes infatuated with Sasha and thus gives rise to another new wish – the wish for love.

Melikyan’s Mermaid brings an interesting take on the fairy-tale like story. The choice of music and use of a cross-processed look (in the dream sequences) works really well to deliver the fantasy feel of the film, which is then balanced with the rich but somewhat subdued color-palette which serves to reminds us of the harsh reality of the real world. Melikyan also does a great job in balancing the drama with some charming and humorous moments that keeps the viewer enthralled with the main character Alice (played by Mariya Shalayeva).