Thursday, August 11, 2016

MIFF Session #11: THE LURE

A group of friends are having an evening of song and drinking at a river bank. The heads of two beautiful girls pop up out of the water and deliver a song in shimmering harmony begging to be allowed on shore. One of the friends watches something offscreen and screams.

A high class club where the singer on stage is taking the band through a thudding rock version of I Feel Love. The wizened manager is brought back stage to see the two girls of the opening sequence in a dressing room. About to throw them out for being underage a sidekick bids him wait. He tells the  girls to disrobe and we see their strange genitaless bodies. The sidekick pours a glass of water over their legs which turn into huge fish tails. The club has a new act.

At first the mermaid sisters, Gold and Silver, take to their new lives with relish, enjoying the attention, the effects of their singing on stage and seem to have found their niche. But Gold cannot shake her carnivorous nature and goes hunting by night. Meanwhile, Silver has fallen in love and longs to be human. This can't end well.

A kind of Splash imagined by Andrej Zulawski or perhaps Little Mermaid directed by Jean Rollin, The Lure tells this story with a ready visual flare and a fine sense of sound. The musical numbers outside of the digetically staged ones rise from their scenes naturally enough and never jar. The performances seem fine throughout. And now I'm grabbing around trying to find what it is that left me unmoved.

And all I am left with is how repetitive it is with the club numbers and violence happening without a lot of development and some key loaded gun information placed too late in the narrative to be effective. This (I think this is the point I'm trying to get to) is because it feels like a short film padded into a feature with more of the kills and songs that made the first attempt at it so appealing. I don't know that this is true but it does feel like it.

That said, there is enough promise here in the imagination and delivery for me to want to see more from Agnieszka Smoczynska. Perhaps with a firmer hand on the bond between idea and its vehicle.


  1. I agree. I found it ultimately disappointing. It really needed some more plot and character development.