Sundance Review: The Lure

Score: D+

Director: Agnieszka Smoczynska

Cast: Marta Mazurek, Michalina Olszanska, Jakub Gierszal

Running Time: 92 Minutes

Rated: NR


"Do you hear what I hear? A song, a song high above the trees with a voice as big as the sea. Do you know what I know? A child, a child shivers in the cold. Let us bring him Silver and Gold."


From first time director Agnieszka Smoczynska comes The Lure, a supercharged musical circa 1980's Poland, revolving around The Figs and Dates, a family band led by charming bassist Mietek (Jakub Gierszal). During a jam session on the shores of Warsaw, the group discovers two vocally talented mermaids that wish to explore the world by way of land and sea.


This film, unique as it was, felt extremely over the top as it fails to map out a suitable plot and tonally never hits its stride. The events that unravel during the film echo others from the likes of Rocky Horror Picture Show and True Blood, both with more success.


Smoczynska offers us a unique take on how a mermaid is depicted on screen. Silver and Golden come off like Barbie dolls in the form of water-vampires, lusting for love, blood and a bite at the jugular. Color me confused. To complicate things, Silver falls in love with Mietek and wishes to become human, but may lose her voice as a result (a-la The Little Mermaid). Golden, the more devious of the two, doesn’t approve of her sister’s decisions, generating friction between the two mythical creatures. And while both lacked any level of depth, when the film did appear to be moving in some sort of direction it would suddenly break out in a song and dance routine, stalling the progression.


The Lure scores high marks for its style but doesn’t offer much in regard to context. Song and dance is great, but if there is no plot to back it up the entire thing plays more like an expensive music video than anything else. Aesthetically pleasing? Sure. But past the visuals there wasn’t much to get excited about. The actors did as much as they could with what they were given; however the end result is nothing more than a hollow attempt at a taboo musical. For that, you can’t help but feel a bit underwhelmed.


About Matt Kerwin

Matt Kerwin

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