Dan Phillips reviews Girls Lost, a Swedish film with a unique take on the age-old theme of coming of age.
There has been a huge influx of film and television that explores trans characters following years of exploring gay and lesbian stories which in turn follows the straight forward exploration of self and coming of age and so it is getting harder and harder to find new and original concepts to explore an age old question, ‘who am I?’, but Girls Lost seems to have found one.
The third outing as writer/director for Alexandra-Therese Keining, Girls Lost is a Swedish feature that delves into the coming of age story with a unique perspective. We follow three outsider best friends, Kim, Bella and Momo as they fight their way through bullies and terrible teachers until they plant a magical seed in Bella’s greenhouse which overnight grows into a weird new flower. In a moment of madness and curiosity they all decide to try the sweet smelling nectar and very quickly transform into fully functioning boys and whilst Momo and Bella find the whole experience fun but temporary, Kim finds that for the first time, she feels comfortable in her (albeit non-permanent) new body. As Kim begins to get in with the cool gang of boys, she finds herself falling for Tony who, despite being the cock of the roost, seems to be going through his own journey of self-discovery leading to an explosion of confusion and self-hate.
There is something wonderfully playful yet dark about this film which has a feel of The Witches of Eastwick or The Craft and what is really great to see is stories which don’t end up happy-ever-after and tied up in a nice quaint bow but instead, despite its supernatural elements, has a much more real life outcome where friendships can’t be fixed and time can’t just be turned back, whatever Cher’s might say.
It is also worth commenting on Ragna Jorming’s cinematography and Sophia Errson’s music which create an eighties-esque feel, much like the recently acclaimed Stranger Things and although this style seems to be very much on trend, they manage to not make it in your face but instead a visual and aural world which happens to frame the story.
This touching and refreshing look at the age-old ‘coming of age’ story is certainly worth checking out, and whilst I am not totally sure what age group it is targeting, it does offer something refreshing in an increasingly over-saturated market.
Girls Lost is available to buy right now from Amazon.
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