Blue My Mind review: The teenage girl transformation to woman gets another genre slant in this Swiss-German fairytale.
Blue My Mind review by Kat Hughes.
Over the last few years genre cinema has developed a trend for telling their tales through the female teenage experience. It’s a tumultuous time and that lends itself perfectly to the more macabre cinema. Ginger Snaps, Raw, and most recently Wildling, have used this environment to tell their stories, and now comes Blue My Mind. Whilst not necessarily as horrific in tone as some of the aforementioned films, Blue My Mind will take some true grit to get through as it’s not the easiest of watches.
Our story follows Mia (Luna Wedler), the new girl in a new school. In a bid to fit in, she sets her sights on joining the gang of cool troublemakers. As she embarks on her mission, she soon finds herself doing things she wouldn’t usually do – smoking, stealing, drinking etc. – all for garnering acceptance from her peers. Soon though she finds more worrying things to think about when, shortly after starting her periods, her body starts to change, and not in the expected adolescent ways. Mia now finds herself battling to stay normal, and more specifically, human.
To tell the true extent of Mia’s transformation would be a disservice to the film. It’s best to venture into Blue My Mind with as fresh a mind as possible. Don’t fret though as it isn’t long before clues are teased, the audience is not kept in the dark for that long. All we will say is that this is not the usual body horror transformation that we’ve come to expect. There’s also probably a whole chunk of the population who would gladly swap positions with Mia.
This is an eye-opening vantage into the toxicity of the teenage experience; in fact it’s often the non-transformation scenes that horrify. Mia’s desperation to be one of the gang leads her into some highly dangerous and destructive situations. One such situation sees her meeting up with a thirty-six year old man in a hotel as she seeks to lose her virginity. All so she can fit in with the social ‘norms’ of her peer group. Sadly this isn’t the part of the film that is based on fiction, and it makes things much more terrifying.
So far this year two standouts for films for this writer have been Pin Cushion and Tigers Are Not Afraid (which also screens at Fantasia). Both films, like Blue My Mind are directed by women (Deborah Haywood and Issa Lopez respectively). Lisa Brühlmann takes the helm here and demonstrates that, much like the other two, female filmmakers are especially gifted at crafting emotionally engaging and enchanting tales.
Blue My Mind review by Kat Hughes, July 2018.
Blue My Mind screened as part of the Fantasia International Film Festival 2018 line-up.