“The Lure” centers on two sisters, Gold (Michalina Olszanska) and Silver (Marta Mazurek), who are anything but ordinary. In fact, they are mermaids. They have enchanting singing voices, and if that weren’t enough, they also have the ability to communicate telepathically. Furthermore, their teeth are fangs, that can easily be used to devour the flesh off of anyone who crosses them. When the film opens, the sisters emerge from the sea, and begin to sing to two men, Mietek (Jakub Gierszal), and Perkusista (Andrzej Konopka). The sisters are asking the men to help them up onto the shore, where they will be able to take human form. The two men are in a band, Mietek plays the bass, and Perkusista is the drummer. When Krysia (Kinga Preis), the front woman of the group, sees that the girls are mermaids, she screams in shock. (As an aside: Approximately 2000 actresses were looked at for the roles of the two sisters, before Mazurek and Olszanska were picked).
The band performs at a nightclub, where they are the headline act. Sensing a real opportunity to make money, Krysia incorporates the sisters into the band, which has taken the new name ‘The Lure.’ The sisters inclusion mesmerizes the crowds, not only their voices, but when they transform on stage. The popularity of the act, and the financial rewards it generates, is something which sits well with Kierownik sali (Zygmunt Malanowicz), the club’s owner. One evening, the sisters come in contact with Tryton (Marcin Kowalczyk), a fellow sea creature. He also enjoys playing music, but he lets the sisters know that creatures such as themselves, can only visit while on land, they shouldn’t attempt to assimilate for the long term.
At first, everything is new and exciting for the sisters. They are experiencing things like drinking and partying, which has always been completely foreign to them. Shopping for new clothes is also something the sisters have never needed to do before. The experience leads to one musical number that bursts forth with vibrant colors. After a while, the fun of behaving like a human starts to wear off on Gold. She begins to get antsy with staying in one place. Gold takes out her frustrations by feeding on unsuspecting men, whom she entices to spend time with her. Silver, however, has fallen in love with Mietek. In fact, she is so taken with him, that she is willing to undergo a surgical procedure to have her tail removed, and have the lower half of her body, be that of a woman.
Even though he likes her, Mietek has told Silver, that he will always view her as a fish. He feels that way, because while the sisters have legs when they take human form, they have no genitals. If Silver goes through with the operation, by giving up that which makes her a mermaid, she will lose her voice. In addition, if Mietek doesn’t reciprocate her love, and Silver fails to kill him, according to mermaid legend, she will be turned into foam, and washed away at sea. Silver’s infatuation with Mietek has caused a rift between the sisters. Gold is horrified that Silver would give up the life they share as mermaids. She wants her to end, what Silver considers, the foolish thoughts of life happily ever after with Mietek, and continue on their journey to America where they were originally set to go. Will Silver go through with the operation? (As an aside: The mermaid tails that were used while filming were six feet long and weighed over fifty pounds).
“The Lure” was directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska (Fugue), in her debut feature-length film. The screenplay was written by Robert Bolesto (A Heart of Love). The story for the film was based, in part, on “The Little Mermaid” written by Hans Christian Andersen. The fairy tale was published by C.A. Reitzel, on April 7, 1837. On December 16, 2015, the film premiered in Warsaw, Poland. Parts drama, fantasy, horror, musical, and thriller, it has a runtime of 92 minutes. The film was made in Poland, its title in its native language is Córki dancingu, which means ‘Daughters of Dancing.’
The acting, especially by the two leads, is spot on. In the film, Smoczynska demonstrated her competency as a director, and I am interested in seeing where she has taken her work since “The Lure’s” release. The music heard throughout the movie, not only showcases the lead actresses’ talents, but acts as another character, because of its importance to advancing the film’s narrative. The film will not be for everyone. For those of you who do watch “The Lure,” this is the sort of film which will most likely leave you thinking about what you’ve watched, long after the credits are over.