The movie directed by Sean McNamara is based on a 1997 novel named ‘The Moon and the Sun’ (the name of the film). Set in France, the fairy tale revolves around the greed of the King, King Louis XIV, or rather his quest for mortality and money. In search of mortality, he captures a mystical creature, a mermaid upon whose death would he take her heart and thus be granted immortality. In pursuit of the money, he captures his long-lost daughter, Marie-Josèphe, to wed the duke.
The story then proceeds to capture a growing bond that develops between the princess and the mermaid, the princess's love for another person, and the king maturing into a selfless individual. The King's character arc illustrates an archetypal arc in which the great but selfish king becomes selfless and gives up his quest for the love and life of his daughter. The story is so beautifully written and the long-awaited happy ending is so deserved.
Right from the beginning, the story engrosses the audience. There are layers of symbolism for the mermaid, the princess, and the sailor she finally falls in love with that are connected through water.
Throughout the film, the religious system, God, and the King have been mocked in subtle ways. For instance, the scenes in which the priest would each morning forgive the king of the sins he had committed the previous night as the king prayed for forgiveness seemed as if this was a simple game for children. A huge mockery of the idea of redemption and God himself.
A typical tale of good versus evil is told, with the bad eventually turning to the good. The dialogues are particularly engaging in this story and thus make it stand out. This movie has several intriguing dialogues that add philosophical depth and layers as well as witty humor that is so thoroughly enjoyed.
Dialogues like, “lavish and glimmering hell” to describe the kingdom, and several others of the princess stick with the audience and make the story stand out. The story is also anthropomorphized frequently. Using living, breathing mermaids that feel and act like humans is the best example that fits well with the anthropomorphized elements. Having a deep connection with the princess enhances the sense of humanity in the mermaid, strengthening the audience's empathy towards her life and her family.
The story seems to be best suited for children, but the witty dialogue, subtle mocks, and hidden philosophy work best to hook adult audiences as well. With its wit and abundance of positivity, this movie allows you to be reminiscent of your childhood with a pinch of realism.
The movie is a must-watch.
Final Score – [8.5/10]
Reviewed by – Aalaya Sonti
Follow her @layaarants on Twitter
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