CUFF 2014 REVIEW: WE ARE THE BEST!

Do you remember what it feels like to be an awkward 13-year-old? Well, even if you weren’t all that awkward, We Are The Best! will help you dredge up those old memories of adolescence and might even make you nostalgic for them.

The film is light-hearted and energetic with genuine subjects and characters. Thirteen-year-olds Klara, Bobo and Hedvig are three outcasts living in Stockholm in the ’80s. Bobo and Klara don’t know how to play any instruments and so enlist the help of talented guitarist Hedvig to help them form a punk band. The three become best friends through making music, challenging authority and having a hell of a lot of fun in the process.

We Are The Best! is a refreshingly honest portrayal of adolescence and is almost heart-rending. While we do sympathize with Bobo’s feeling of ugliness or lack of attention (Hedvig is talented, Klara is pretty), the film is more feel-good and laid-back than serious. Not that the film lacks emotions, it just shows how truly irrelevant some of our adolescent problems are in the grand scheme of things.

Stylistically, the film is simple and straightforward. In some instances, the camera quickly pans back and forth, or zooms in or out, playfully complimenting the scene. However, the characters, dialogue and script are what really shines here.watbThe three girls themselves are all distinct characters, adding different ingredients to the film. Thematically, Klara embodies the punk attitude; she is the most brazen and spirited out of the three. Bobo really shows the audience what it means to be awkward; she doesn’t get attention from boys like Klara does and she lives at home with a kind mother who parties and sleeps with different men. And then there’s Hedvig, the talented blonde who is Christian; but don’t worry, she’s not one of those overzealous ones.

The film works best when it evokes laughter and amusement from the audience when characters poke fun at each other or are mischievous. And of course, the score goes hand-in-hand with the film, infusing it with energy. You might even leave the theatre with the girls’ punk anthem “Hate the Sport” stuck in your head afterwards.

The title “we are the best” is fitting for the film, since one can have the most confidence when they are inexperienced or ignorant to what or who is out there.

Overall I’d say that this offbeat dramady is sure to delight audiences and awaken memories of being (mostly) carefree and of thinking that they are the best.

By Sheena Manabat

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