Polish Language FIlm
Overall Rating: 2.4
Director: Agnieszka Smoczynska
Length: A Long 1:32
Gore Factor: Moderate Gore in Select Scenes
Watch If: You want to see something strange that is definitely one of a kind,
Not If: You hate musicals, or need everything to make sense.
Similar To: Thale, Repo: The Genetic Opera
The Bare Bones: In an alternate 1980's Poland, Two mermaid sisters are taken in by a Cabaret, but things go south when one of the carnivorous duo falls in love with the guitar player.
It is a musical, and it is Polish, and those are the only two things I can really say for certain.
This film can boast, however, one of the most original concepts and story lines I have ever come across, and even with some problems, I feel like, for better or worse, I watched a full-frontal view of another person's imagination. While this did suffer a few bumps, I wholeheartedly look forward to what Smoczynska will come up with next.
There was no intonation in most of the singing, and even less in the spoken acting. The best performance was far and away given by Kinga Preis, who seemed to be, not only the most experienced actor, but also the most expressive.
And, yes, I understand that the mermaids were supposed to be weird and cryptic, but for at least half of the film, all I got was that one of them was supposed to be nicer and naive, and the other was bitchy. That was it. Unless they flat out said what they were thinking, most of their motivations were vague at best.
That being said, it got better towards the end of the film, with at least some general use of expression. Not good use, but it was there at least.
The coolest visuals were the mermaids themselves, and I mean that in a "interesting take on it" way, rather than a "that looks so cool" way. First off, The two mermaids were visually, very well cast. Both the girls had that suspicious, otherwordly vibe going on. Their... *ahem* human forms were also visually jarring. (The more... sensitive areas, so to speak.)
I also very much liked the use of eel tails instead of the standard fish or dolphin tail that western mermaids tend to have. It made the entire thing more threatening, and it was nice to see a bit of variation. But, for the most part, the visuals were lackluster at best.
While I met what I said about wanting to see what Smoczynska comes out with next, this film has some of the rough, unfinished edges of an artist who still needs to master their trade. The lack of clear genre and tone makes The Lure particularly difficult to follow, as well as virtually impossible to become fully invested in. If there was a point to this film, I missed it.
I spent a good bit of time going, "Oh, That's what happened," and even more time trapped in the land of, "Was... was that intended to be literal or metaphoric?"
I finished this film on the sheer curiosity of what would happen next, rather than investment or attachment.
But where this film falls apart is this: It tried to bee too much. It tried to cover all the ground, and instead of excelling in one, as it might have if it had been solely a horror or dark fantasy film, it ends up being weak on all fronts. It is a confusing, undefinable roller coaster with a barely decipherable story and an 80's water-rock musical score that lacks the neon oomph that characterized the decade.