Mermaid Got Married


Its been a very long time since I saw the Tom Hanks film Splash – but from what I vaguely recollect Mermaid Got Married seems to clearly be inspired by it - though "inspired" might be much too strong a word – for in truth this is a fairly pale imitation. It captures some of the narrative aspects of Splash but very little of its emotional core. Nevertheless, it has some typical Hong Kong movie charms, an excellent soundtrack (Faye Wong sings a few songs I believe) and for fans of either of the main actors – Ekin Cheng and Christy Chung – it will have some appeal. Throw in an early co-starring role for Takeshi Kaneshiro and solid ones for Kent Cheng, Yuen King, Dennis Chan, Lau Siu-ming and Teresa Mak and it’s an easy and extremely unchallenging way to spend 90 middling minutes.
Now for those who wince at the mere idea of spending 90 unnecessary minutes with Ekin - take heart that back in 1994 when this film was made he had not yet begun to settle into his stern and immovable visage mode that began with the Young and Dangerous series in 1996. This is not to imply that he does a lot of emotive acting in this film – but he is genial enough and comes much closer to being a wimp than being a wonderboy. He gets beaten up by just about everyone – including Teresa Mak – and becomes a bit of a helpless puddle in the film’s one moment of crisis – but the flowing hair is always present and accounted for.
Of course Christy Chung has her detractors as well and a combination of Christy and Ekin in close proximity sounds like it is desperately close to a thespian black hole – but Christy brings so much enthusiasm and cheerful zest to her role that it is almost contagious – and in truth who can resist a woman with a splendid tail like hers. Fish tail that is. Other than her long golden tail – Christy’s eyes will suck you in like a chocolate milkshake on a hot summer day. They are pecan pie warm and as cloudy and mysterious as the Milky Way – and this film never tires of close-ups of them – and not so surprisingly neither did I! At any rate, what little fizz this film has is almost totally provided by Christy and her moonstruck eyes.
As a boy Ekin falls into the ocean and almost drowns but is saved by a large fish. Jump ahead twenty-years and he is now a young man looking for a job as a teacher. The problem is that he is so good looking that no school wants to hire him in fear that there will be some funny business with the girl students. Finally he convinces Kent Cheng to hire him as a P.E. teacher and sure enough the young girls are soon swooning in their gym shorts. Teresa Mak in particular takes a gander at Ekin and her young heart beats out the tom tom rhythm of love – much to the annoyance of Takeshi.
Well, Ekin somehow manages to fall into the water again and almost drown – but amazingly this big fish appears once again! Who would have thought? Of course this is actually only half a fish – the other half belongs to Christy. She saves him with a giant pearl that she slips down his throat – but then realizes that she needs it back to live in the ocean. On land she transforms into a two-legged lovely and goes looking for him. She manages to join the school as a student and is soon giving Ekin her best wet fish kiss. The fact that Ekin is romancing a supposedly high school student is almost as scandalous as his new found fish love or would that be guppy love, but no one seems to think either a bit perverse. Things don’t go as swimmingly as you might imagine between a boy and his fish though when a group kidnaps her in order to display and later dissect her.

My rating for this film: 5.5



DVD Information:

Distributed by Tung Ah

The transfer is generally ok - clearly nothing special was done for the dvd release but it is fairly clean and sharp.

Letterboxed

Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks

No extras

The subtitles are burnt on Chinese and English.