We Are the Best Review – SIFF 40 Review

We Are the Best makes me want to start a band again…

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Hedvig, Bob, and Klara in We Are the Best!

If you were ever fortunate enough to be a young teen and fall in love with music enough to want to start your own band, then Lukas Moodysoon’s “We Are the Best (Vi Ar Bast)!” is something that you don’t want to miss.

The film tells the story of Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin) who are outcast teens in 1982 Stockholm.  Constantly ridiculed by classmates and local kids, Bobo and Klara decide that they will make their mark and be heard by creating their own band as a way to fight back.  In this respect, their targets become rival school kids, local band Iron Fist, and even their P.E. Teacher.  As their journey unfolds, the two realize that first and foremost, they can’t even play instruments, and seek the help from equally criticized classmate Hedvig (Liv Lemoyne).  Hedvig is the heavy Christian kid in their class who also happens to be and incredibly talented classical guitar player.  Bobo and Klara talk hard and finally convince Hedvig to join their band and become their friend.

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Bobo turns away while Klara shares an embrace with punker Elis.

Unlike rock/band movies, this isn’t focused on a rags to riches type of story, but opts to focus on the lives of three girls who are struggling to find their place as well as tolerate the normal rigors of being a teenager.  They have crushes, they have heartbreak and they have each other, but the emergence of a popular local punk band consisting of teens their age puts all of that to the test.  As the girls’ relationships evolve, you get to see their individual personalities come out and play different roles in keeping this project on the right track.  Their band isn’t on the brink of success, they are instead just doing whatever they can to simply learn how to play, a common thread in most young bands.

We Are the Best is just a damn fun movie.  It never gets too heavy, but it does provide some heaviness in the form of the girls’ drama among them and their families.  It’s innocent enough by grown up standards, but Moodyson takes you back to that place when simply holding hands meant that you were dating someone, and saying that you were in a band meant the world.  It was really touching to be taken back to that time in your life when all of those things mattered.

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I’ve been a punk music fan since I can remember, but punk out of Sweden is something that never even popped up on my radar.  The soundtrack to this film is really solid and showcases tracks from popular Swedish punkers like KSMB, Ebba Gron, and others.  The movie is chock-o-block full of music, so this thing could probably have three different soundtracks!

If you get the chance to see this film, DO NOT hesitate. This is a great one that will attract musicians and music fans who want to be taken back to a simpler time.

 

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