The Little Mermaid review: Halle Bailey shines but Disney's visually pleasing musical fails to create impact

The Little Mermaid starring Halle Bailey brings back the childhood memories but fails to create impact. Read Pinkvilla review!

Updated on May 30, 2023   |  12:46 PM IST  |  92.1K
YouTube trailer
Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid

Key Highlight

Name: The Little Mermaid

Director: Rob Marshall

Cast: Awkwafina,Halle Bailey,Javier Bardem,Melissa McCarthy

Rating: 3 / 5


The Little Mermaid revolves around the youngest daughter of King Triton, Ariel. She is a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure. She desires to understand and engage with the world beyond the Sea. Breaking all the rules, Ariel decides to go out into the human world with the help of her aunt, Ursula with some conditions. Now, will Ariel live a life amongst humans or will she return to the sea? 

What Works?

With this movie, Disney excelled their musical content. The visually pleasing movie takes you into the life of mermaids and their daily life. Ariel (Halle Bailey) did justice to the role despite the backlash. She sings, dances and is curious about the human world. Along with her comes the best friends - tropical fish Flounder (voiced by Jacob Tremblay), crab Sebastian (Daveed Diggs) and Scuttle (Awkwafina). They team up together to break all the possible rules. The Little Mermaid surely leaves you with the feeling of nostalgia. Seeing Javier Bardem as King Triton is a treat for the eyes. He portrays the character so well, you would want a solo movie for him. Talking about the villain, Ursula (Melissa McCarthy), there is only one word for her 'Badass'. She justified the character of evil aunt who wants to take away Ariel's voice. She holds the movie together with her powerful acting. 

The one thing that definitely works is the beautiful song "Under the sea". The visuals are top-notch and well, it brings back childhood memories. The story is simple and the movie is one hour longer than the 1989 version. The love story between Ariel and Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) is gentle with no sign of over-the-top romance which is good for a movie like this. Prince Eric and his charming Disney Prince vibes will surely sweep you off your feet. 

What Doesn't Work? 

The movie definitely could have been wrapped up in less than two hours but director Rob Marshall felt the need to push it. The story fails to hold your attention while seeing how they butchered our little pal Flounder will make your heartache. Disney and their obsession with live-action is something I fail to fathom. Despite the efforts, the movie does not leave an impact. You can just walk in and out without remembering what happened in the last two hours. Keeping in mind how the 1989 version is so deeply rooted, the live-action movie fails to live up to the mark. It was also sad to see that despite the movie being so long, Ariel didn't appear to spend time with her sisters. The daughters of King Triton appeared for a minute and it felt a little out of touch. 


Star Performance

Even though the movie is about Halle Bailey, the one actor that takes away the award home is Melissa McCarthy. She nailed her role no doubt. Jonah aced his role while appearing to search for his lady. Other than that, seeing Javier playing the role of a powerful King felt really nice. Talking about Halle, her puppy eyes stole the show but definitely she could have done better. 


The Little Mermaid movie review: Final verdict 

If you are looking to watch a two-hour-long visually pleasing movie, you can opt for it. The Little Mermaid is trying to create a whole new Princess to look up to for the next generation. It is surely a one-time watch. 

ALSO READ: The Little Mermaid: Where and how to watch the film online? Release date, cast, streaming details, and more

About The Author

Entertainment journalist who is also a cinephile. With over 4 years of experience in the industry, Ruchi brings her... Read more


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