04th Aug2014

‘We Are the Best!’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Mira Barkhammer, Mira Grosin, Liv LeMoyne, Johan Liljemark, Mattias Wiberg, Jonathan Salomonsson, Alvin Strollo, Charlie Falk | Written by Lukas Moodysson, Coco Moodysson | Directed by Lukas Moodysson


One thing that always happens when we become adults is that we miss childhood.  Responsibility sucks but there is nothing we can do but just continue with life and be nostalgic for the time we can’t revisit.  We Are The Best! is a movie for those people who want to remember what it was like to be a kid again, oh and maybe for punk fans too.

Bobo (Barkhammer) and Klara (Grosin) are two girls just reaching their teenage years, marked out as the outsiders by their peers they don’t care what people think, and that includes the ones that tell them that punk is dead.  Fighting against the popular opinion they form their own band to prove them wrong, pulling in Hedvig (LeMoyne) another outsider to not only complete the band but also teach them how to actually play the instruments they manage to borrow.  With the politics of childhood friendships and being in a band merged, can they survive as a group and prove that they truly are the best?

Lukas Moodysson has created a smart and energetic movie based on his wife Coco’s graphic novel based on her own childhood memories.  It works for the audience as a snapshot of the girl’s lives as they try to form a band.  It’s interesting that we are presented in the film with the idea that the band is the most important thing to them, but the truth is this is more about their friendships and the drama that they go through.  Small things are huge to them, even a small cut turns into a big drama and imminent death in their minds.  This is no coming of age tale though and it doesn’t need to be, if anything we are invited into the friendship and get to experience the fun of being a part of the little punk group.

As would be expected (as they are the main characters) the film is dominated by the energy that Bobo, Klara and Hedvig bring to the screen and this is down to the acting of Barkhammer, Grosin and LeMoyne.  We are pulled into the world of these girls which is frantic at times.  We see the mistakes they make and their happier times, arguments and quiet times.  Whether it’s stealing alcohol at a party and getting drunk, falling in love with boys at a moment’s notice and the drama this causes or taking part in a concert, the girls give a natural feel to their performances and keep the energy levels high.  Without this energy there would be a risk that the film getting boring as in truth not much happens, but what does happen is given high drama…as it always with kids.

We Are The Best! is most importantly about friendships and this is everything to children of this age.  We tend to miss these friendships as we grow older which is probably why We Are The Best! works at a nostalgic level with the audience and feels so familiar.  Punk is a theme in the movie but it’s not really that important to the narrative of the story, what gets more of a focus is being a child, friendship and surviving day by day in what feels like chaotic times.  This is something that Bobo, Klara and Hedvig bring to the screen, organised chaos where they truly make us believe that not only are they the best, but maybe while we are part of their world so are we.

***** 5/5

We Are The Best! is available in the UK on DVD now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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