Which is not to say that “How to Meet a Mermaid” is by and large a downbeat or severe film. There’s much melancholic whimsy here, while the filmmaker’s consistent fascination with the physical and symbolic properties of the ocean producers some moments of actual cinematic rapture:
Lars Skree’s serenely composed, crystalline widescreen lensing regards the water with suitable awe, with aerial shots of whirling turquoise currents, or slow-motion profiles of cresting waves, that wouldn’t be out of place in a David Attenborough spectacle. (Or, for that matter, a latter-day Terrence Malick one.) Composer Mark Lizier, meanwhile, may earn MVP status on the pic with a lushly thrumming, sometimes brittly tingling score that gives suitably siren-like voice to the sea itself.
A singular, perhaps intentionally frustrating cri de coeur, “How to Meet a Mermaid” may find its maker wrestling with bitterly mixed emotions about the life aquatic, but casual disdain is never remotely on the cards.