Based off Never Goodnight, a Swedish graphic novel written by Coco Moodyson, We Are the Best is a movie that looks at the lives of three girls who are coming of age. Two of them, Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara(Mira Grosin) decide to form a punk rock band, and they think that by declaring their independence now will help them survive in the future. They bring Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne) into the fold, and although she slightly resists, her freedom doesn’t arrive until she’s rightly initiated.
This film is amusing as it explores what “punk” means for three youths growing up in 80s Stockholm and becomes a welcome character study of what their idea of a punk lifestyle is supposed to be. This lifestyle even enters into the songs they eventually write. Although the founding members of this misfit band are no poetic maestros, Hedvig is the only one classically trained on the guitar. She has to teach Bobo and Klara to understand what harmonies and measured beats mean, and these music lessons are important in other ways, too.
We Are the Best! shows how strong familial bonds form. When each of the girl’s parents think of them as outcasts, just how they manage to find each other is magically touching. The chemistry between Barkhammar, Grosin and LeMoyne nicely develops during the course of the film. Even the screenplay is nicely developed to show the affinity these girls have for each other, the distance felt between them and the society they have to deal with at large.
When We Are the Best moves at a casual pace, audiences are given time to digest the story that’s going on and when they start taking interest in boys — of whom they belong to their own rival punk band — their post-adolescence becomes more of an exploration of how puberty and the emotions attached to that affects. We Are the Best! isn’t about how well these young ladies can make music, instead, it’s about how raucous and rebellious they can become when given a chance. Another ‘R’. for reactionary, should be added, as they react strongly to the societal mores that surrounds them.
Victoria Film Festival 2014
Fri. March 7th 2014 – Thu. March 13th 2014
The Vic Theatre