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Mermaid (1997)
"Rusalka" (original title)

 -  Animation | Short | Fantasy
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 495 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

An elderly monk, while training the young novice who will succeed him, recalls the mysterious lost love of his past - just as his young successor appears to be encountering her himself.

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Title: Mermaid (1997)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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An elderly monk, while training the young novice who will succeed him, recalls the mysterious lost love of his past - just as his young successor appears to be encountering her himself.

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Utterly breathtaking
30 December 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As somebody who's very fond of Russian animation, Rusalka(aka Mermaid) has to be one of the most beautiful and fascinating of any Russian animated film or short. The high point is the animation, it is hard to put into words how truly gorgeous it is, not only is an animation style unlike any seen before in animation(oil paints on glass) but every frame and movement flows so smoothly it's almost dream-like. There is so much atmosphere in the setting, and the vast details and the way the colours are used were a visual feast. The music is soothing, almost like it's coming from a distance, and wisely sparingly used, while the sound effects are truly evocative and add so much to that magical dream-like effect. While it is understandable why anybody would have difficulty following the story(particularly if you are unfamiliar with the Slavic folklore tale it's based on), it wasn't a problem for me and the hauntingly gentle mood conveyed in the short is really to be admired, while the ending was incredibly poignant and stayed with me for a while after. The characters are very well drawn and expressively characterised(facial expressions and gestures rather than vocal, particularly good in this regard was for Rusalka) and carry Rusalka beautifully. In conclusion, a breathtaking Russian short film. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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