Before ‘diving’ into fantasy, this eco-conscious comedy starts off on a serious foot – with sobering actual footages of deforestation, pollution and bloody slaughter of big fish. All in the name of life ‘improvement’, as directed by rich yet greedy humans. Industrialisation and exploitation of sentient beings continues to be too much and too fast, worsening life for all in the long-run instead. Yes, this is exactly how we arrived at our current climate crisis. This signature line is uttered twice in the movie – ‘When there is not a drop of water or a breath of air left, what is the use of money?’
In his book ‘Daily Inspiration From Khenpo Tsultrin Lodro’, the Buddhist teacher wrote of how he had heard of a mermaid-like creature’s appearance in a lake, as witnessed by a man he trusts. ‘Coincidentally’, on the next page, he wrote… ‘When we discover Mother Earth has become extremely poor and can no longer provide for our greedy demands, we have to lower our expectations, however unwillingly, to the bare minimum – a breath of fresh air, a glass of clean water, or a piece of unpolluted soil. The day will come when we discover that even these are luxuries that Mother Earth can’t afford to provide…’
The usage of linked oceans as backdrop of the story is ingenious as they more tangibly represent interconnectedness of nature and sentient beings within. This would be harder to depict via air or land. To animals and such, it is surely ludicrous that humans arbitrarily carve up patches of water and land, to sell and buy at arbitrary prices. The elements should be freely enjoyed yet treasured for the sake of all. As nature is home of all beings, it is as priceless as harmony between all beings is. Our love must become great love that knows no interspatial or interspecific boundaries.
The mermaids represent forgotten lives struggling to survive in desecrated environments. Semi-human, they have voices to protest against humans on their plight. Semi-animal, they speak up for all other sentient beings too. We must learn more about one another to appreciate and protect one another, to no longer harm another, or be apathetic to one another. If we humans are truly more highly evolved than other earthly beings, should we not be the Bodhisattva guardians of all, and the environments they live in? Should we not save and liberate, instead of capture and exploit? Technological development for economical development will surely fail if we fail to grow in compassion and wisdom at the same time. Let us reclaim our lost innocence, by reconnecting to nature, via our Buddha-nature!
生活在这个拜金主义的年代，难免有一群有钱人，认为钱是万能的，能打发与解决一切问题。但他们会有如此嚣张是因为有一群贪钱的人让他们摆布。就这样，两群互相燃烧彼此的三毒。戏中的富豪刘轩（邓超饰）和李若兰（张雨绮饰）就是以上描述的富豪。珊珊（林允饰的美人鱼），虽是‘穷人’，但金钱对她来说没任何意义。刘轩屡次用钱打发她，她都无动于衷。毕竟她需要的是远远超过金钱所能买的 – 一片清净的自然海里家园。
(Chinese review by 真悯）