For Reel

We Are the Best! (2013)
December 2, 2014, 8:18 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Lukas Moodysson
4 Stars
We Are the Best!Swedish filmmaker Lukas Moodysson has delved into bleak subject matter in his recent efforts (Lilya 4-Ever concerns a teenage sex slave, Mammoth is an Iñárritu-like meditation on globalization), but with his latest film he returns to an endearing coming of age story with tonal similarities to his debut feature, Show Me Love. We Are the Best! follows a new punk band formed by a trio of teenage girls–only one of them knows anything about music, but they all share the same desire to start making noise. What’s terrific about the way that the film handles the girls’ relationship with their band is that it doesn’t matter if they ever become any good. A more predictable effort would see them going on to win their school’s battle of the bands and the respect of their peers along with it, but how punk would that be? These girls play music as an outlet. It doesn’t define them, they channel themselves through it. Moodysson shoots much of the film with a handheld camera, giving it a messy, documentary feel. It’s fitting for a film that is loose in structure but interested in the details. Love triangles and contentious parents may crop up here and there, but Moodysson is aware that a young life isn’t defined by a single obstacle or struggle, it’s an amalgam of them.

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