Now this really is a charming and thoroughly uplifting Swedish film which may well be completely ignored upon its international release. Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin) are 13 year old girls who identify as punks in the 1980s, with the sorts of hairstyles and appearances unlikely to help them fit into their school’s social cliques. Without any musical ability, they start their own band, recruiting a lonely Christian girl who can play guitar. They try to convert her to atheism, cut her hair into a style guaranteed to get her in trouble with her parents and they all have a lot of fun. It’s a truly feminist film, with the girls infiltrating a subculture that was traditionally (and counter-intuitively) considered to be reserved for males. The children’s performances are kinetic and feel impulsive and you have to wonder how much exactly was scripted. These are brilliant young performers who know exactly what’s required to give the film an authentic energy, making the whole movie so hilarious and endearing.
Their only song (‘Hate the Sport’, inspired by a PE lesson) is actually rather dreadful, yet the film is full of great music. We Are The Best actually epitomises punk rock in such a well spirited way, through being a coming of age film which breaks down stereotypes, feeling pure and honest. They’re definitely not the best, but they’re so charming and the film hits such an accurate note on what it feels like to be growing up and creating an identity for yourself that you cannot help but adore these characters with all your heart.
We Are The Best is out on 18th April in the UK and 30th May in the US. Running time 102 mins. Certificate 15 (UK).
Review by David Rank