SIFF Sighting: MERMAID (comedy; Russia)
The sarcastic irony of Anna Melikyan's MERMAID draws you in at the very start, with an unexpected nude scene that sets the tone for the whole film. First you want to laugh, then you want to cry.
Alisa (played by three separate actresses as the character ages) is a young dreamer living in a seaside shack who longs to be a ballerina. When that doesn't pan out, her mother enrolls her in choir and a sequence of events leads Alisa to discover that she can command nature with a special power in her mind.
This unique "gift" if we can call it that, alternately causes trouble and pleasures as Alisa grows up, leaves the Seaside for Moscow and falls in love.
Saying anything more would spoil the surprises of the film, but I will say I was entertained throughout, though the twist near the end left me disappointed.