First seen in the Orizonti section of the 2013 Venice Film Festival this portrait of two young punk girls at the peak of their adolescent years makes for a compelling and fun drama about female friendship.
Swedish director Lukas Moodysson of “A hole in my heart” fame (2004) hadn’t directed anything since “Mammoth” which he took to Berlin in 2009 and was received rather coolly. He is making a comeback with this friendly and unpretentious movie about the vagaries of youth. In a light and nostalgic register, “We” depicts the daily lives of two schoolgirls who stake a claim in the punk eighties movement and form a complicit partnership against all odds.
Using the right narrative beat (this movie never gets boring) Moodysson puts the focus on the girls’ shenanigans as they go about annihilating all the symbols of a system of excesses: they build a model fusion reactor core for their physics course, participate together in sports even though they don’t belong to the same teams and steal the rehearsal time of a group of adolescents who they don’t like in order to use instruments which they have no idea how to play. “We” is messy and fun, like punk music.
The object of this friendship eventually comes into clear focus: to start a punk band and recruit a shy blonde-haired girl who sings convincingly and plays the guitar. The three girls get on stage and belt out several versions of a song entitled, “I hate sports.”
“We” goes down easy, Moodysson making full use of his opportunity to tell this story of diffident adolescents using a mixture of sweet and bitter in showing how the girls’ childhood gets lost in the background and rivalries between girls and teenage heartbreak rear their ugly head.
This lighthearted film is buoyed by the touching performance of these three young women, all of which make this film our discovery of this week.
Comes out on May 30th, 2014 (Magnolia Pictures)