We Are The Best! Review

Lukas Moodysson’s tale of three young teenage girls, living in 1980s Stockholm, is a funny, memorable and touching film told with the excitement and urgency needed to capture the hearts and minds of the audience and grasp hold of them for the length of the story. Bobo, Klara and Hedvig are three outsiders; the latter has no friends until she meets the other two and together they decide to form a punk band, even though they keep being told that punk is dead. The three girls have shaved heads, wear brilliant outfits and have a ‘don’t give a damn’ attitude, which allows them to ignore the bullies and get on with what they want to do best; enjoy themselves, stand up for what they believe in and get the most from life.

Each of the girls comes from a very different background; Bobo lives with her mother, who seems to have a different man every night and spends little attention on her daughter, Klara comes from an alternative, relaxed family who love music and each other and finally, Hedvig comes from a religious upbringing and is constantly under her mother’s thumb. None of them are happy with their own lives and find solace with each other and what they bring to one another in the group. Whilst Bobo and Klara wish they could swap parents, they both do not envy Hedvig at all, who wants to escape her overbearing mother but doesn’t seem to have the confidence to do so until she finds her music.

We Are The Best explores a specific time, in a world, which was filled with changes. The fashions, politics, religious views and music were rife in the air – this was a culture in the midst of movement and yet these three little girls manage to embody, with extreme confidence, a world that seems to have passed them by. They represent anarchy, punk and a beautifully represented DIY aesthetic; they are constantly told that they have no right to keep pushing these views, that these are something of the past but they have no interest in being told what they can’t do. Particularly Klara, who comes out with some of the most interesting and politically motivated lines of the entire film – she understands the world around her, and has some very specific points of views, which she has no trouble putting into words. But what is truly funny in the film are the moments when the barriers that they put up come down; for instance, when Bobo cuts herself and she panics that she is going to die and can’t stand the sight of the blood coming from her hand; the innocence of the girls shines through just as much as their need to rebel.

Moodysson’s production gleams from start to finish, capturing this time perfectly. He understands the culture, the soundtrack, the dress sense and the locations that his characters would hang out in. He boldly captures them rehearsing, hanging out, begging for money and dreaming about tomorrow in ways that few directors are able to do. Most of all, he has created a classic coming of age tale, where these girls are left to their own devices to make decisions about the world they live in and hopefully learn for their future. Everything about We Are The Best, just works so nicely in tandem with each other; the costumes of the girls themselves are sights in their own rights. They mash colours together, different materials and all shapes and sizes, without a care for the latest fashions. Topping it off with a quintessential hairstyle, that makes them stand out miles away. This is particularly well represented during the sequence when Klara and Bobo cut Hedvig’s beautiful blonde locks; they get into trouble, but find themselves out of it pretty quickly as Hedvig actually loves her new look.

The performances from the central three actresses are stunning and hilarious, really highlighting some great international talent for the future. The chemistry between the three of them is divine and really shows off the fun they had making the film. In particular, the performance from Mira Grosin, who played Klara was brilliant – she was funny, innocent, cheeky, dangerous and political; this young character was so layered, that it was great to join her on this enjoyable journey.

We Are The Best is a great film; it’s so very funny and yet holds a bold and brilliant message -enjoy yourself, discover yourself and be comfortable in your own skin. It’s a film that should be watched by all ages as everyone could do with learning something from these innocent and yet highly intelligent characters.

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