Title: The Lure
Director: Agnieszka Smoczynska
Writer: Robert Bolesto
Stars: Marta Mazurek, Michalina Olszanska
Release Date: Screening at MIFF 2016. Released on DVD later in 2016.
Review by Dave Griffiths
Disney has taught cinema audiences over the years that mermaids are sweet, loving creatures that fit right into the Princess side of things. Of course, anyone who knows their history in mythology at all will know that Ariel was not what the old-school mermaids were like. No mermaids originally were sirens that lured men to their deaths… and it is that style of a mermaid that we find new Polish film The Lure centring on.
The mermaids in question are Silver (Marta Mazurek – Warsaw By Night) and Gold (Michalina Olszanska – Fanciful) who are lured by the ocean by a musical family whom the two originally plan on killing. The family instead talk the mermaids into becoming part of the adult entertainment at the seedy Figs And Dates nightclub. As the mermaids become, a sensation Silver finds herself falling in love with young bass guitarist Mietek (Jakub Gierszal – Dracula Untold), something that angers Gold to the point that she begins a bloody murder spree.
The first thing that is going to hit anyone that sits down to watch The Lure is that director Agnieszka Smoczynska (Aria Diva) has not followed the traditional style of filmmaking while putting this film together. Amongst the gore and nudity, you will find that characters suddenly break out into song and most of the film feels like it was made way back in the 1980s. Yes, it sounds strange, but The Lure feels like it is a mash of Pusher and Xanadu.
Having said that though there is something behind this film that makes it work. It is a little strange but not absurd enough to lose you totally… although the scene where the family seem to be on drips does make you scratch your head. What makes the film work so well is that despite the most alternative nature of the film there is still a great deal of characterization. The storyline depicting Silver falling in love with a human but knowing she can’t ever give him what a real woman can is touching while you perfectly understand why Gold reacts the way she does and the fact she has turned into a cold-blooded killer also brings an air of suspense to the film.
Both Mazurek and Olszanska also show that they are pretty gifted actresses. Despite the fact that they are nude for a lot of the film they never drop character… no this isn’t two porn actresses appearing in a mainstream film these girls have real acting talent. Some of the scenes in which Silver shows true emotion when realising her relationship with Mietek is doomed to show that she has true acting talents, and either actress here could easily find themselves acting in Hollywood one day.
If you don’t mind a little bit of alternative cinema, then you are going to love The Lure. Different enough to be interesting and with enough twists and turns to surprise you it’s little wonder this film packed out cinemas at MIFF 2016.