the Witch & the Mermaid
The director has created a mythical world inhabited by a multitude of marvelous beings with various strange powers. Over the course of the film, Sriwanda reveals the gravity-defying martial acrobatics of one of his protagonists and how the other, like Orpheus, can tame beasts with his music. These two are not the only interesting persons in the film, either. Besides some weird or bewitching human opponents and allies, the heroes encounter several supernatural beings, all of whom are enjoyable to watch. The witch is revealed to be a beautiful woman, but she is also shown to be capable of transforming herself in to a potbellied giant with great curling fangs. The family of merfolk that befriend the abducted prince, and who help him to escape his captor, though never clearly shown, are also given a magical feel. Even the inanimate objects depicted throughout the movie add to its otherworldly aura. There is a fabulous city rising from the jungle, an enchanted undersea grotto, and numerous supernatural weapons, including, for example, arrows that transform into glowing animated snakes.
As fun as much of The Prince, the Witch & the Mermaid is, it is not without faults. Perhaps the worst of these is the way the film leaps from one event to the next with undo haste. Scenes often seem disconnected from one another, and the narrative is choppy. The viewer is left feeling as though he is seeing the highlights of a longer story rather than a complete tale. The movie is fast-paced and exciting as a result of this structure, but it is never as engaging as it could have been.
Whatever the movie's weaknesses, I did enjoy The Prince, the Witch & the Mermaid. It is certainly not a great film, but it is an entertaining one.
Review by Keith Allen
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