Thursday, May 29, 2014

Brezhnev and Reagan, Fuck Off!

We are the Best! (2013) - Moodysson
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Two 13-year old tomboys, Bobo and Klara listen to punk, hate their sports loving classmates and think their parents are super lame. After seeing some rude old geezers practicing yucky rock songs at a local youth center (thank goodness for socialist country), they spontaneously set out to form a punk band out of spite. But they don't know how to play any instrument and still want to maintain the time slots they signed up for so the old geezers won't get to play.

Then they see Hedvig, a blonde, christian good girl who has been playing classical guitar at the school talent show to unresponsive, downright rude audiences, year after year. Hedvig doesn't have any friends. Bobo and Klara decides to forcibly make her join the group. She is an awesome guitarist and teaches them how to play bass and drums. They cut Hedvig's hair off despite her mom's protest. But Hedvig comes around voluntarily. Despite her strict Christian upbringing, she likes being in a punk band. Together, they compose a song with catchy lyrics like "Hate the sport, hate the sport!", "Brezhnev and Reagan, fuck off!"

Now they need money for an electric guitar. But after begging for change on the street with some corny "my parents are drunks and we are starving," sob stories, they decide to spend the collected money on candies and ice cream instead.

Then there is the first crush. There is this punk band they like. More extroverted Klara calls them up and arrange a meeting. Elis, the lead singer of the band is very cute. Just like any other music band dynamics, they go through jealous fits and leadership conflicts and bring the group to the inevitable brink of breakup. All things come down to a chance to perform at some lame school gym concert in the suburbs. Would it be a total riot or total riot?

Lukas Moodysson, after plunging into hard-hitting downers like Lilya 4ever and A Hole in My Heart, goes back to what he knows and does the best - truthful, tender depiction of (pre)teen world. Just like his amazing debut, Fucking Åmål and based on a graphic novel Never Goodnight by his wife Coco, Moodysson showcases his penchant for naturalistic dialog and capturing the concerns of the world of pre-adolescent girls and the spirit of punk so acutely. It's the feel good movie of the year.

We Are the Best! opens May 30 in New York and LA. Visit Magnolia Pictures website for more information.

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