Punk angst – often expressed in music through stripped-down political, anti-mainstream rants – always starts somewhere. In We Are the Best!, an innocent yet voluminously raucous film about three young punk-obsessed girls, that origination point is Stockholm, in 1982.
Directed by Lukas Moodysson and adapted from a graphic novel written by his wife Coco, the movie quickly endears us to two BFFs. Both bespectacled Bobo (Mira Barkhammer) and livewire Klara (Mira Grosin) sport short, spiky haircuts. Neither has anything in common with either their parents or more elegant classmates.
Fish out of water, the duo spends time at the youth center, making a musical racket banging and plucking on instruments they have no idea how to play, and irritating the older guys, members of the band Iron Fist, who genuinely want to use the space to rehearse.
The gals soon become friends with Hedwig (Liv LeMoyne), whose staunch Christian upbringing has also fashioned her into a loner. However, beneath her demure, classical-guitar-playing exterior is a wild girl bursting to get out with the proper provocation. Hint: Hedwig’s long blond locks are not long for this world.
Coming-of-age stories invariably rely on Uranian archetypes of non-conformity, rebellion, revolution and innovation. In We Are the Best!, the trio’s sheer exuberance and beyond-standard-decibel conversations, which are often anger-fueled because of political or budding-boyfriend concerns, make up for literal explosions.
Whether this trio’s musicianship, put to the test at a local competition, is the best is ultimately irrelevant. Breaking the rules just to declare their bravado to be true is all that matters.
Astrology Film Rating: ♅ (Uranus)