Movie Mixtape: The Lure17 March 2017 / by Alexx Bryant (author)
What if the Little Mermaid got a job stripping at a Polish nightclub in the 80’s?
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Polish director Agnieszka Smoczynska answers that what-if with her debut 2015 feature film The Lure. Part horror, part musical and part fairy tale, The Lure follows two young mermaids, Golden and Silver as they experience life on land.
After a late night encounter on the beach, a nightclub band welcomes Golden and Silver into their home. When they are introduced to the nightclub owner, the two mermaids become a main act, entertaining guests with their siren like vocals and magical tail transformations. Although, as their riches and fame grow, Silver breaks a fundamental mermaid rule when she starts to fall in love with human drummer, Mietek.
The Lure explores a couple of different themes. Director Smoczynska says the film is essentially a coming of age story that echoes her own childhood. The film highlights the transition into womanhood, illustrating this through the slime and odour of the mermaids’ bodies. Smoczynska has also likened the film’s narrative to the experience of immigrants as Golden and Silver are newcomers exploited by locals.
The cinematography stood out in this film. Director of Photography Jakub Kijowski captured the vibrancy of the nightclub and the time period. At the same time, you could also feel a darker undertone through his choice of camera movement and lighting. I also surprisingly enjoyed the musical numbers. At first hearing about this film, I was wary of how they were going to pull off a horror musical. It was a success though, with a diverse range of music such as 80’s dance hits and baroque pop solos.
As much as I liked the look and sound of the film, there were definitely things that just didn’t work for me. I feel like the mermaid lore could have be explained better because I didn’t really understand why Golden and Silver had to eat humans. Was it for survival or just for fun? I was also confused about the relationship between characters. Were Silver and Golden sisters or just friends? It was the same thing with the nightclub band. I thought they were related but I’m still unsure about that. The passage of time was also weird, making me uncertain if it had been a week, a month or a year since the start of the film.
Despite this confusion, I still really enjoyed The Lure. Although, this is definitely not a film for those who are faint of heart. But if you love blood and guts and don’t mind a couple of catchy tunes, check out The Lure.
The Lure opens Friday, March 17th at the Royal Cinema with a special pre-show starting at 7:30pm. It will continue playing until March 26th. The Royal Cinema is located on 608 College Street West.