February 25, 2017

Movie Review: The Lure

There are some movies that as soon as you see the trailer you know you have to see it. It is the feeling I get when I see a trailer for, say, a new Star Wars movie or like when I saw the preview for John Wick: Chapter 2. Well, that feeling welled up inside of me when I saw a trailer for The Lure. Now, I am sure many of you look at that title as if I were typing in a foreign language. That’s all right, sometimes I feel that way as I am typing. The Lure is the English title for Corki Dancingu, a Polish genre mashup that is definitely a unique experience. Granted, I did not love it as much as I thought I would based on the trailer, but I think it may grow on me with more viewings.

The Lure is a Fantasy/Horror/Romance/Comedy/Musical from a country that, I do not believe, has ever made a horror movie nor a musical. It is the sort of groundbreaking film that, even if you don’t like it, has to be respected for its audacity. When you consider that nothing like it has ever emerged from that particular film market is just icing on the cake. This is a movie that was made with vision, with attitude, with a desire to shake this up. It works.

The story centers on two sisters, named Silver and Golden, who also happen to be mermaids. They are brought out of the sea and enlisted in a cabaret show, where they put their various assets on display in a musical revue, where they spend a lot of the show topless. They quickly become the clubs top draw, but despite their fast success, the two girls have differing ideas on what they want to do. One of the girls desires to pursue love with a human, the other wants to use their stay as a feeding grounds before swimming to the US. This puts a strain on their relationship and pushes our story forward as the girl falls for a human, a young man who is in the backing band at the club.

It is really weird to say, but this is an adaptation of the Little Mermaid tale that Disney adapted in animated form back in 1989. Believe me when I tell you that this is no happy. Family friendly fantasy. This movie goes to some very dark places on its way to its conclusion. However, as the story becomes shrouded in darkness, it is all told to an 80’s style synth pop soundtrack and is shot with a kaleidoscope of color.

The Lure is a seriously great looking film. It was beautifully shot and has a great production design. The music is also great, poppy and infectious. My problem lay with the emotional involvement. I never felt myself really caring about the dilemma the sisters were facing or what they were going through. Sure, I was enthralled with the sights and the sounds, but when it came to caring about the plights of the girls or about anything that was going on, I felt left on the outside.

The odd thing about this movie is, while I left the theater really liking elements of it, I also felt like i really didn’t care about it. It gets odder, as I sit here thinking back on it, those elements that didn’t work for me, mainly the emotional attachment, are starting to sink in and affect how I feel about it in retrospect. Now, this has happened before, but no matter how often it does, it still feels weird. My initial review doesn’t seem particularly affected by it, I think future viewings may have a different affect on me.

The Lure is a movie well worth seeing. It is ambitious, unique, and is a crazy take on the Little Mermaid story (more Hans Christian Anderson than Disney). It looks great and has some great music. It is definitely a “Your mileage may vary” kind of film, but still needs to be seen. It is also interesting to note that when it was originally released in its native Poland, there was no mention anywhere that it was a mermaid story. Think about that and imagine the audience reaction upon that discovery.


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