Monday, June 23, 2014

[Review] We Are the Best!

"Hate the sport!"

Lukas Moodysson directs this spunky slice of adolescent angst. Set in Stockholm during the early 80's, two 13-year-old girls, Klara (Mira Grosin) and Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) are obsessed with the punk rock lifestyle (complete with rebellious haircuts). They form a band, and they know little more than banging on their instruments and wailing into microphones. But they've got the energy and the passion. Eventually, they recruit a shy, neutral-looking, outwardly Christian girl named Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne). She's pretty much the opposite of Klara and Bobo, and she's really good at guitar.

The film is keenly observant, and thankfully, it develops all three of these characters beyond caricatures or stereotypes. We Are The Best! hinges on the power of tiny details and the illusion of screen naturalism, whether it's the meshing of bonds or sparks of drama that later ensue. Aside from all of its subtleties, it's packed with amusing in-your-face antics, from wild the scenes of the band rehearsing, to Bobo's dedication to her cause--There's the on-the-spot lyrics she makes up during gym class: The world is a morgue, but you're watching Bjorn Borg!. And lines like, "He abandoned punk rock... He listens to Joy Division" when complaining about her older brother.

But the fact that this is a slice, rather than a film with a big story arc, makes it feel more restrained than wanted. The film wanders into a few too many mundane spots, allowing tedium to creep in.
However, there's no denying the joy if its high points. We Are the Best! is refreshing because it never becomes a cynical commentary or a one-way 'anti-' message. At its heart, it's three young people forming an amateur band, and most importantly, a friendship. It's about delving past external labels and their connotations, while still preserving the importance of being whoever you want to be.


No comments:

Post a Comment