Saturday, July 26, 2014

We Are the Best!

At first Bobo and Klara stand out from among their peers as androgynous. While other girls in their class conform to our stereotype of 1980s Swedish girls, Bobo has close cropped curly hair and Klara has a mohawk. These outsiders listen to punk music to shut out things that annoy them (which seems to be just about everything). Down at the local youth centre some older boys annoy them and bent on revenge the girls realise that if they book the music room they can stop the boys practising for their rock band, 'Iron Fist'. So they immediately form a punk band despite having no musical talent or instruments. While punk is a thread that runs through this film, this is no more a film about punk than Star Wars is a film about astronomy.

On closer inspection Bobo is a loner who is envious of Klara's (apparent) popularity and her 'cool' family. Klara is equally a loner but one with a well developed eye-rolling sneer and no fear of trying to get her own way regardless of practicality or morality of her aims and methods. They add a third member to their band, the older, timid, devout Christian, guitar playing Hedwig.

Films about growing up are a popular genre, and We Are the Best! can be enjoyed as a relatively guilt free romp by some 'outsider' school girls in a world where adults are relatively hands off and benign. This is a time of life where make believe blurs into reality (lets be a punk band, that boy I've only met once is my boyfriend and of course "we are the best") and where freedom from constant adult control allows kids to try things out.

But on reflection I see it as a film that uses a simple story line to illustrate how much of what the protagonists like, believe, hate and do is to please, infuriate or manipulate other people. In case we indulge in any smugness that as mature adults our likes and beliefs have a more rational and objective basis, Bobo's mum's love life seems no more reality based than her daughter's!

You don't have to like punk to enjoy this film, in fact considering how Klara and Bobo 'murder' punk, it might be a disadvantage to be a punk aficionado! These girls just wana have fun (and friends) and ring leader Klara (Mira Grosin) is especially watchable.


Ian's rating 3/5 Anne's rating 3/5

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