The Lure Directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska

Starring Marta Mazurek, Michalina Olszanska, Kinga Preis and Andrzej Konopka
The LureDirected by Agnieszka Smoczynska
Courtesy of Films We Like
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Agnieszka Smoczynska's The Lure is enjoying a fair bit of buzz after a successful festival circuit and a subsequent release in cities worldwide. The praise is well-deserved; though it loosens the reins when it comes to structure, The Lure is a unique film that stands out from the cinematic landscape.
 
The Lure tells the story of two mermaid sisters named Silver (Marta Mazurek) and Gold (Michalina Olszańska) who, after bewitching a disco band, decide to join their nightclub act instead of eating them. Silver goes full "Little Mermaid" after falling in love with the band's bass player (Jakub Gierszal), and wants to trade in her tail for human legs. As for Gold, well, she just wants to eat humans. What follows is a wild, weird, sexy and touching coming-of-age parable chockfull of singing and dancing. And sequins. Lots of sequins.
 
Aesthetically, the film is a fantastic, kitschy blend of 1980s Soviet chic — a little grungy, a little seedy, but fabulous all the same. Part of its appeal is how it pairs the grotesque with the gorgeous, as upbeat musical numbers about moving to the big city are interspersed with dark lullabies on devouring human flesh.
 
Wokalistka Krysia (Kinga Preis), the leader of the nightclub's band, is at first happy to play den mother to Silver and Gold, showing them the ropes and teaching them how to exploit their sexuality for paying customers. But as the sisters' popularity begins to overshadow her own, the film introduces some interesting themes via song and dance numbers on the fear of aging and irrelevancy, sexual agency in a patriarchal environment, and the trials of young love.
 

THE LURE (Trailer) from filmswelike on Vimeo.

There's a lot to unpack about the mermaids: How they represent the monstrous feminine; how they look like normal, pretty girls from the waist up (and Gold and Silver only grow tails when they get wet); and how men are both excited and grossed out by what's going on from the waist down. The Lure's triumph and failure is that, admirably, it tries to address all of this, but it doesn't always get it right. It moves at a fast and furious pace, and the plot gets a little spotty throughout.
 
Yet, while The Lure isn't totally coherent, but the film's unique, freewheeling, colourful style makes up for this more often than not. (Films We Like)