Some films are built for entertainment rather than deep thought and The Lure is one of them. Described as a “loony genre mash-up of musical, romance and 80s-style horror”, this messy, delightful Polish film about two mermaids who emerge from the deeps to discover adventure in a strip club is a fun and occasionally gory ride.
The two mermaids, Golden and Silver, are two very different characters. We can see this from the first frame as Silver watches a man singing on the shore, doe-eyed and already infatuated. Golden appears and we can see from her face that her appetite is very different. Golden is played by Michalina Olszanska who also played Olga Hepnarova and she channels the same subdued fury. She is mesmerising.
In many ways this is a retelling of the The Little Mermaid as Silver discovers the price that must be paid for love. But these mermaids are not Disney princesses, they are sirens who devour people, sharp-toothed and with mammoth, eel-like and phallic tails. They are powerful but, out of the water, they are in a world that has different values and dangers.
Wonderful, Polish, lyrical pop music is interspersed throughout, either as musical acts at the strip club or songs that show the conflict and dreams of each woman, albeit in a surreal way. The 80s nightclub costuming is gorgeous. Plot and pacing are a little messy but this film is worth it for the music and Golden’s sullen stare alone.
Bechdel test – pass