Girls lost is a Swedish psychological drama about sexuality and identity. The opening sequence of the film is typically art-house. Girls with masks brood over a burning fire and the night hangs like a cloak in the backdrop. There’s an unmistakably ominous feeling that caught on to great effect and lasted throughout the course of events. It is not disturbing enough give you the chills, but powerful enough in it’s raw literal depiction. As it shifts back and forth between innocence and the darkness of its fabled tale, Girls Lost brings an ambitious metaphor to the modest lives of three girls by upending their world as they know it and, at the same time, counter-punching and upending traditional notions of gender and sexuality. There was something organic about watching it and I can tell you I’ve not felt this way for a long time.
The film treads the lives of three friends who are introduced as sort of outcasts in their school. Not particularly attractive nor charming, the girls stumble across school getting picked on sometimes but they don’t make a big deal of it.Just usual business. I appreciate how the girls are not too aggrieved by it because it would change the complexity of the movie if bullying had been the central focus of the film. Always managing to find their own space to be happy and whimsical, the movie’s opening adds just a delicate touch of the paintbrush to the depiction of life, all the while probing something beneath it’s veneer.
I hope I can spoil this and not take away the experience of watching it for the first time (which you should). But if you’d prefer entering the film with a blank state, please don’t continue. Just as they say that life likes to throw us curveballs, the three girls open up their modern day pandora’s box; A seed that quickly grows into a blackish drooping flower, it’s nectar changes the girls into boys for a day. The euphoria in identifying with a seemingly cooler gender faction is balanced equally by the realization that life anew isn’t a bed of roses. But it isn’t what you expect. It’s not about guilt or regret, nor being idealistic or reckless…the bonds between the girls and their journeys through their double life is more complicated than you’d expect. It’s a modern play on who we are,who we want to become and ultimately who we choose to be.
Girls Lost is one of the most powerful films I’ve seen all year round. There’s a certain niggling feeling that manages to make me question the role of my sexuality-and that is something you do not find in your average film. For what my thoughts are worth, this is a smashing film. It’s approach is modest and carries none of the flamboyance that typifies films like Mulholland Drive or Under The Skin (both of which also explore similar themes.) It doesn’t manufacture obscure elements to throw you off guard nor tease that something should mean more than it actually is. Instead, each girl’s journey is thoroughly explored and meaningfully expresses the ideas the film is trying to convey. There are a rare handful of shocking scenes but most of the film insists on soaking in the moment…it’s in the grouphugs, the subtle shifts in expressions, the silent theater of a soccer celebration, the even more silent gazes of strength and dejection -All these make Girl’s Lost a masterful piece of work. It screams of individualism and identity without having to shout out loud and put it in your face. It empowers the human spirit when exposing it’s insecurities. Alexandria Therese-Keining’s direction is stylish and honest and is brilliant when it’s understated.
I’ve had as much pleasure writing this as I’ve had with watching the film. Special mention has to be given to the three girls (Tuva Jagell, Wilma Holmen and Louise Nyvall) for they exuded as much passion to the film, which translates to a passion for its message. Tuva Jagell nailed the final scene to perfection. What Girl’s Lost has done goes beyond both spectrums of cinema. It is not too obscure to alienate the mainstream but it’s deep message is a testament to its inherent strength. I love and enjoy the film for many reasons but the most convincing argument I have to make is best left for the last; Girl’s Lost attempts to synchronize interactions with the outside world and the ones we have in ourselves. Amid the conflictions within our hearts and the nature of life, identity is a fragile thing constantly thrown about and unwittingly morphed. But we have to…as the film suggests(in my opinion)…hold on to the hope that we will one day grasp it and be our’s. But there are so many ways you can view it, and I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.