The Lure (Corki Dancingu) (2015) directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska
Two mermaid sisters (whose names are Gold and Silver) are drawn to the shore by the siren song of a nightclub trio singing on a beach. The sisters sing their own siren song to get noticed and taken to land. After an interview with the nightclub owner (which includes the revelation that they are mermaids and will grow long, luscious tails when they get wet), the sisters become part of the act. The story is set in 1980s Poland and the club is a bit trashy--a lot of the acts involve stripping or otherwise exploiting the talent for the benefit of the patrons. There's sex in the bathrooms. Anyone can get a smoke or a drink, including the probably underaged sisters. Nevertheless, they enjoy what they think is a glamorous life and Silver falls for the trio's guitarist. That spells trouble for a number of reasons. If she gets the tail-to-legs operation, she'll lose her voice (just like in The Little Mermaid, a clear jumping off point for this film). Also, if he falls in love with someone else, she'll turn to sea foam if she doesn't eat him before the next sunrise. Did I mention they are carnivorous mermaids? The tale has more dark themes beyond the squalor of the night club.
The musical numbers are not limited to the night club. The girls sing a tune as they shop for clothes; Silver has one during the surgical swap of her fish tail with another woman's lower half. A lot of the songs are rather bleak (even the upbeat ones aren't very catchy). The music has a lot of synthesizers, which goes well with the 1980s setting but isn't my favorite style of music. I'm not inspired to run out and get the soundtrack. The musical element is persistent but not strong.
The coming of age story is more like Ginger Snaps or The Company of Wolves, i.e. a more adult and horror-tinged look at female sexuality. The contrast between Silver's search for true love, with its inherent dangers of offering yourself to someone who may not reciprocate, and Gold's exploration of her sexuality, looking for a tantalizing experience or maybe her next meal, is interesting. Sensuality is fairly rampant in the movie. The movie has a lot of nudity (entirely female, by the way) and frank sexuality. Having two young females going through that journey of self discovery lets the filmmakers look at their sexuality in different ways without sacrificing plausibility.
Overall, I found the movie interesting but I don't know who I'd recommend it to. It has elements of a musical horror like Little Shop of Horrors and of a musical fairy tale like Into the Woods, but is much darker and less comedic than either. It's not a brilliant combination of music and storytelling as the film Once. The actors are endearing and the theme is explored in interesting ways. The movie defies easy categorization.