We Are the Best! (Original title: Vi är bäst!), 2013. Directed by Lukas Moodysson.
Screened at Hyde Park Picture House
In recent years Scandinavian films have become popular in Britain thanks to the likes of the Millennium series and Let the Right One In, both of which have spawned American remakes. However, it is predominantly in the crime thriller and horror genres Scandinavian films reign, but this should change with the wonderful and good-hearted We Are the Best!, a Swedish coming-of-age comedy.
Directed by Lukas Moodysson, it at first seems a strange choice of film for a director who likes to delve into darker realms. However, Moodysson started his feature length directorial career with the likeable comedy Together and so he is completely at ease making a cute comedy about a young all-girl punk band in 1980’s Stockholm who try to make music despite not playing instruments and being told by everyone that punk is dead.
Based on a comic book written by his wife Coco Moodysson, it is exhilarating boisterous fun that will make you laugh throughout and ensure you won’t stop smiling. It is hard not to fall in love with the three central characters, all brilliantly played by their actresses. Each of the girls have their own unique personalities: Mira Grosin is spiky and riotous as Klara, Mira Barkhammar’s Bobo is sweet and good-natured and Liv LeMoyne is a shy religious girl who undergoes quite a transformation. The story and characters feel real with situations and personalities you will recognise from your own life, which only makes the film more engaging and enjoyable.
We Are the Best! could have easily been snooty and pretentious, but it instead takes the brave move and laughs at character types such as snobs and serious metallic bands, characters we would normally mock in our heads but never out loud. The tone is set just right knowing that it can only ever be good-natured, light fun, although some serious issues are tackled sensitively and maturely giving it a needed edge at points.
If you are looking for a film to cheer you up this exam period We Are the Best! may not be the first movie you think of, but if you give a try you will find yourself laughing, falling in love with the three central female characters and chanting ‘Hate the sport!’ A delightful film, it is great that Moodysson has made a return to comedy.
Emily Murray (@themintfilmblog)