Home Art & Style The Little Mermaid’ and that wave of respectability that will drag Disney to the bottom of the sea

The Little Mermaid’ and that wave of respectability that will drag Disney to the bottom of the sea

The Little Mermaid’ and that wave of respectability that will drag Disney to the bottom of the sea

Written by Simone Di Matteo Once upon a time, there were princesses to save, dragons to flee from, brave princes to marry and wicked witches not to be beguiled by. Today, on the other hand, there are only faux-revolutionary canons to respect, a sleeping audience to please, a critical spirit to fade away and a consensus from which one should never stray. This is a bit like Rob Marshall’s The Little Mermaid, a remake of the 1989 animated film of the same name based on the famous 1837 fairy tale written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen and yet another product of the propaganda of respectability at all costs that landed on the big screen not more than a few weeks ago. For several years now, The Walt Disney Company, evidently lacking quality scriptwriters and producers capable of devising relevant projects, has been grappling with the (re)cinematographic transposition of films already distributed according to the norms of inviolable political correctness, although with scarce and obvious results. Except for those at the box office, of course, after all, you know, obviousness is for everyone! Just think of Maleficent, where we no longer find the fearsome and ruthless witch, but rather a woman worn down by love and resentment, which is in no small part reminiscent of that imagery of women that is strongly condemned nowadays. Or Cruella De Mon, in which the indomitable entrepreneur in love with authentic furs is replaced by a clumsy little girl whose character is moulded by her mentor and who has nothing in common with the idea of the ‘self-made woman’ that they try to sell to the public. OOr to that infinity of operations carried out in the name of a ‘culture of erasure’ that almost leaves the impression, behind the false myth of inclusion, of wanting to escape who knows what responsibility. Nevertheless, this is how we arrive at Halle Bailey‘s Ariel.  On the overused altar of feminist empowerment all logic is sacrificed. Ariel and her six consanguineous sisters constitute a mix of ethnicities that not even in the most cosmopolitan city would be noticeable. Are they daughters of one mother or different mothers?! It matters little because, in the end, we are all the same anyway. Unlike the classic plot of a fairy tale, in a brio of deliberate but failed innovation, the protagonist is not a lost princess who needs help, but a heroine who saves herself and does not need the brave Eric. On the contrary, she would do well to save herself even from him since he is depicted here almost as a fish without a bone, like those spineless men  that we come across on a daily basis. But this, unfortunately, does not happen. On the contrary, it all boils down to the classic happy ending in which the two, thunderstruck by sudden love, get married.  Sebastian, then, is nothing like the amusing crab we were used to.  Disregarding the graphics, which is poor, Mahmood‘s voice sounds more like a ‘marine’ transfiguration of Kermit the Frog from the Muppets who, listening to him sing In fondo al Mar, really made me want to dive into an ocean and never be fished out again! Not to mention Ursula, whose character as the most feared villain on the seas, beyond Melissa McCarthy‘s impeccable performance, has been reduced to that of a circus screamer advertising weight-loss potions. Stuff that would make even Wanna Marchi envious! PFor heaven’s sake, Disney’s attitude is nothing new. However, while the film had all the makings of a real opportunity to make a difference, in the end, it proved to be just yet another missed opportunity!

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