Review: We Are the Best! – We are the best! (2013)

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Directed by: Lukas Moodysson | 102 minutes | drama | Actors: Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin, Liv LeMoyne, Johan Liljemark, Mattias Wiberg, Jonathan Salomonsson, Alvin Strollo, Anna Rydgren, Peter Eriksson, Charlie Falk, Lena Carlsson, David Dencik, Emrik Ekholm, Ann-Sofie Rase, Lily Moodysson, Viveca Dahlén, Clara Christiansson, Samuel Lazar Eriksson, Vanja Engström, Linnea Thörnvall

Punk is alive, as the Swedish film “We are the Best!” (“Vi är bäst!”) Wants the viewer to believe. There is a grain of truth in that, is the first thought. As a subculture, punk still has a group of adepts who believe in the fundamentals of the movement to this day. It is therefore more than just a music movement. Punk is an ideological way of thinking and living.

Twelve-year-old girls Bobo and Klara do everything in Stockholm in 1982 to conform to those punk principles. They listen to the correct bands, wear their hair in the desired styles and rebel against their parents. With the help of the Christian guitarist Hedvig they even start a band, ready to conquer the world. Unfortunately, the girls ignore that the punk movement has an anarchist hate for conformism. You are punk, you don’t. By trying to force their ideas on others, they also use the same weapons as the groups they criticize. For example, “We are the Best!” Goes quite wrong.

Initially, the ladies are presented as young adults. They speak pleasantly pretentious about the danger posed by nuclear power plants, are willing to break rules and are politically aware. That in contrast to the adults themselves. Parents behave like a child, only have an eye for their own problems and discuss the most irrelevant topics. But gradually the three main characters are also moving away from the committed path and taking a direction more suited to their age. The mutual quarrels, the uncertainty about budding loves and their daily activities in general are set up in such a long-winded manner that it stands in stark contrast to the fast pace of any random punk theme. As a result, “We are the Best!” Also becomes rather unfortunate, against the annoying and it takes even more distance from the punk idea. Simply put, it will be an ordinary film about ordinary young people. The special thing is then gone.

Although the three of them hit it musically endearingly, the female perspective is interesting and the time image is beautifully portrayed, a good film does not deliver. The rattling, dragging screenplay of “We Are the Best!” (Based on the graphic novel “Never Goodnight” by Coco Moodysson, wife of director Lukas Moodysson) crosses the line of boredom several times. This isn’t punk, this is badly made new wave. Is punk really dead after all?

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