April 1, 2018 Blue My Mind (Movie Review)
The teen years are difficult, especially for teen girls who are struggling with changes in their bodies and trying to discover a new norm as they develop into young women. The Drama/Fantasy Blue My Mind, a masterfully-crafted tale of one truly unique teen girl. For those in the New York-area, Blue My Mind will make its New York premiere at WHAT THE FEST?! on Saturday, March 31st at 1:15 PM.
Uprooted from everything she knows and relocated to a new city thanks to her father’s job, Mia (Luna Wedler: Streaker 2017, Der Läufer 2017) is a 15-year-old Swiss teen trying to come to grips with her situation. Quick to strike out, on her first day at her new school, Mia eyes a group of black-clad troublemakers headed up by the vivacious Gianna (Zoë Pastelle Holthuizen: Amateur Teens 2015, Sono Pippa short 2017). Asking for a light for her cigarette and forging a somewhat precarious friendship, Mia becomes the fourth in Gianna’s group of bad girls, which also features Nelly (Lou Haltinner: Happy New Year 2008) and Vivi (Yael Meier: Upload 2015).
At home, Mia is struggling through the changes brought on by her developing body and while some are completely normal, others are a bit peculiar. This understandably leads to emotional highs and lows, and the relationship between Mia and her mother (Regula Grauwiller: Mostly Martha 2001, Cargo 2009) is tenuous, at best. For his part, Dad (Martin Rapold: Nocturne 2004, Cargo 2009) is trying to be loving and understanding, but he’s at a loss when it come to Mia’s new, rebellious attitude.
Back with the girls, Mia is developing an interest in pornography and breath-play, shoplifting, drinking, partying, and exploring her sexuality. It does not hurt that the gals have a trio of boys at the ready – Roberto (David Oberholzer in his acting debut), Jim (Benjamin Dangel: Amateur Teens 2015), and Alex (Timon Kiefer in his acting debut) – for party invites and sex, which they call “bouncing.” As the ladies begin to grow closer and coincidentally go wilder, Mia’s condition seems to decline further and further from anything “normal.” With her health hanging in the balance and her actions escalating toward chaos, she will have to make some important self-discoveries in this truly bizarre, coming-of-age tale.
Clocking in at 97 minutes in-length, Blue My Mind was Written and Directed by Lisa Brühlmann (Flügge short 2011, Peripherie 2016), and is a feature-length debut for this outstanding female director. The film is presented in Swiss-German with English subtitles, and absolutely nothing is lost in-translation. Billed as a Drama/Fantasy, Blue My Mind is absolutely these things: a beautifully-orchestrated film that reads as a coming-of-age Drama with fantastical elements. However, the less you know going into the film, the more you are apt to take away.
Where Blue My Mind goes right is in its beautiful attention to detail and always crisp camera-work; there is even a subtle emphasis on the colors blue and green, providing an intelligent, visual cue to guide viewers. Of course, all of these things are made possible by the ensemble cast’s superb acting skills, with Wedler (Mia), Holthuizen (Gianna), and Grauwiller (Mia’s mother) holding down the bulk of the major performances.
In the lead role, Wedler is charged with carrying a lot on her petite shoulders: embodying not just the tumultuousness inherent in being a teenager, but also the added dilemma of being truly different. She moves through the film like a skilled ballerina, equal parts delicate flower with emotional fragility and rebelliously lusty siren. Without her stellar performance, Blue My Mind might feel awkward or forced, and its entire, fantastical premise might crumble; but Wedler provides an exemplary foundation for Director Brühlmann’s gorgeously haunting, wondrous tale.
Blue My Mind is, therefore, a delicious mix of the self-discovery treatise – one in which our protagonist, like most youths, often wonders if she is normal – and a fairy-tale fantasy. The trick here is the balance struck by the film’s brilliant director, proving that yes, we are all different and some of us are truly one-in-a-million. The moral here? That once we grow to accept ourselves, we can finally live the lives we were destined for. Ready to embrace the glittering journey, CrypticRock give Blue My Mind 4.5 of 5 stars.