Rusalochka opens in modern day Copenhagen, Denmark. Several tourists gather around the capital's famous mermaid statue, as a tour guide explains its significance. A fish in the water below the tourists scoffs at their foolishness, and then, proceeds to tell about the doomed love of the mermaid. Upon reaching her 15th birthday, the Little Mermaid is allowed to swim up to the surface above. As soon as she does, however, the Mermaid spots a young prince caught up in a dreadful storm. She admires the man's bravery and decides to save him, declaring that, "The beautiful and the brave should not perish." After the mermaid returns to the ocean, she decides that she wants to become human. Unfortunately for her, the Prince is found on shore by another women, whom he mistakes as his rescuer. The mermaid runs away from home to meet the sea witch. The witch warns that if the prince does not wed the mermaid, she will turn into sea-foam. However, the mermaid has her mind set on love, and exchanges her voice for a pair of human legs. By the time the film reaches its climax, the mermaid must make the choice whether to release a storm on the prince, so that she can return to her sisters in the sea, or allow the prince to marry another. The unintentional consequences of the Mermaid's love become painfully apparent when she chooses to die rather than kill her lover, who is unaware of the whole ordeal (though he still cares for the Mermaid). But like the Prince, the Mermaid is also a flawed character; although her bravery and perseverance are certainly admirable (she is willing to endure pain with every step she takes as a human), the Mermaid is quite naive and is easily swayed by her overwhelming emotions. The decisions that she makes aren't always smart, but the audience still feels for her when reality comes crashing down on her dreams.
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