An adaptation of the graphic novel written by Coco Moodysson, We Are the Best! is a rather charming portrayal of three teenage girls in 1980s Stockholm who decide to form a punk band.
Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin) are best friends who decide to form a punk band, despite everyone telling them that punk is dead. They recruit Hedvig (Liv leMoyne) the sweet young Christian guitar player who they find at a school ensemble. The film shows the girls forming the band, fall out over a boy and finally get round to playing their first show with long haired rock enemies Iron Fist.
The star of the film is definitely Bobo, who is such a sweet heart. We see her struggle with her family life, dealing with her estranged parents, her mum’s younger boyfriends and her sometimes-turbulent relationship playing second fiddle to loudmouth Klara.
Klara, is an over-enthusiastic in-your-face little missy, evidently it’s Klara’s own selfishness which leads her and Bobo to fall out. From playing a song called “Hang God” the first time they hang out with Christian Hedvig, she is an antagonist, however does have a heart in her own way probably only does it all because she thinks that’s what being punk is about.
Hedvig is the level-headed mediator of the group, helping the others to see their differences. She doesn’t say a lot, but when she does it generally makes a lot of sense. She is labeled a Christian, but really doesn’t ever talk about it that much, you can tell that becoming Bobo and Klara’s friend is such a great thing for her.
The film looks great and has a realistic 80’s feel to it, and does well to capture the excitement of forming your first band. From their initial inception of their punk rock anthem “Hate The Sport” with them banging on pots and pans right up to them playing their last gig at Santa Rock. And their overriding love of being a punk and hating disco is so downright adorable.
In one part of the movie, the youth club guys describe them as being a “girl band”, and they react so negatively to this, they idea of being a “girl band” is so abhorrent. To them being a “girl band” probably means they’re like the neon-clad dance troupes that they make fun of earlier in the film. This really shows their youth and naivety, but also questions, why is a band with all girls immediately labeled a “girl band”? To them they’re just punks and gender has no play with it. Them rejecting the notion of being a “girl band” is such a strong feminist statement, they just don’t realize it yet!
The girls also have really liberal political views “people are dying, but you’re thinking of balls flying” though they may not understand all the politics they understand that punk is about using your brain, and that’s pretty cool for a bunch of 13 year olds.
I’m not sure whether Bobo, Klara and Hedvig would want to be thought of anything that isn’t punk rock but this movie is just so cute and adorable. Hate the sport!
This review was originally published on the Cinehouse blog.