The Silver Moonlight (2014) – By Philip Smolen

In an unknown European country, the body of a young girl is fished out of a river and bought to a local morgue. Her name was Sybille (Lindsay Reynolds) and she worked in a local speak easy as a lounge singer. She was in love with a wealthy young man named Matthias (Eric Calderon). Sybille wants to break her contract with Madame Leander (Sabina Leigh) so she can marry Matthias, but Madame Leander demands a high price from Sybille – her voice. Unable to speak, Sybille and Matthias enjoy a whirlwind romance, until Matthias’s fiancé Kristina (Natalie Turner) unexpectedly arrives.

“The Silver Moonlight” is a 45 minute film from writer/director Evgueni Mlodik and it’s an adult retelling of “The Little Mermaid.” Mlodik styles his film on some of the old German films from the 1930s. It also looks like some of the old Universal horror films from that time period as well (and that’s a good thing). It’s a solid attempt to tell a child’s fairy tale with adult sensibilities. It features good photography and nice period costumes.

However, the film is let down by the cast. While everyone looks their part, they don’t convince and instead act like they’re in a local theater production. That’s too bad because for a fairy tale to work, you have to believe in the characters. So while “The Silver Moonlight” is an admirable indie take on a well known children’s tale, it doesn’t reach its full potential.

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