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Film / Mermaid

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Русалка (Rusalka), released in English as Mermaid, is a 2007 Russian dramedy film directed and written by Anna Melikyan and starring Mariya Shalayeva.

Alisa Titova (Shalayeva) is the bastard daughter of a long-haul sailor and a Russian village girl. She lives with her mother and grandmother near the sea, dreaming of her father returning to them, and yearning to be a ballerina. After a traumatic fire leaves her mute, she learns to make her wishes come true by wanting them badly enough, but her every wish brings disaster in its wake. After her family moves to Moscow, she meets Aleksandr, an entrepreneur selling plots on the moon, and falls in love with him. And now, despite her misgivings, she has a new wish to bring to fruition...

Not to be confused with the Russian animated short Mermaid.

This film exhibits the following tropes:

  • Big Beautiful Woman: Alice's mother is a gorgeous plus-sized woman; the sailor who fathers Alice on her is smitten at first sight (it probably helps that the first sight was her coming out of the ocean completely naked).
  • Bungled Suicide: Alice has one leg over the side of the bridge when Aleksandr jumps off of the bridge. After she rescues him, he attempts to walk into traffic while drunk, but she shields him by steepling her hands around him to block the cars.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Aleksandr's apartment is decked out with multiple remote-controlled systems. Moscow in general is filled with advertisements telling people to buy more, spend more, to demonstrate their wealth to each other.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: From Alice's perspective, she causes things to happen by wanting them, but it all could just be coincidences too.
  • Never Trust a Title: The film doesn't have any literal mermaids, despite the title. It's a metaphor for the protagonist's desire to "return to the seas".
  • Rescue Romance: Alice believes that this is what is happening with Aleksandr. He remains completely unaware.
  • Short Teens, Tall Adults: Alice is noticeably shorter than the adults she's around. Then again, she seems to be a head shorter than most of the teenagers...
  • The Speechless: Around the age of six, Alice causes a horrible fire and does not speak again until she is a teenager.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Alice is walking through the streets, and is narrowly missed by a speeding car that's been seen in the background repeatedly. Then, she's hit by the car going the other way.