With BLUE MY MIND The multi-award-winning feature film directorial debut of Swiss actress Lisa Brühlmann is now being shown in USA cinemas. In our review we reveal what she made Luna Wedler go through and how it turned out…
The Plot Summary
15-year-old Mia (Luna Wedler) has moved with her parents, and so the gauntlet of settling into the new school begins for her: cultivating an image, finding connections, making friends. She just doesn’t want to be labeled a bore, which is why she approaches the troublemakers in the class – the dressed-up girls wearing branded clothes and their well-trained, taciturn friends. At the same time, Mia is separating from her parents. She increasingly disregards requests and rules, rummages through her parents’ private belongings without permission, and even begins to question whether she even belongs in this family. But Mia not only changes in character, but also physically, which initially surprises her and increasingly frightens her. She feels out of place and is afraid that her classmates will find out about her physical peculiarities. And yet Mia doesn’t want to separate herself from her newly discovered, adventurous friends and boy acquaintances. So she throws herself further and further into parties, pubescent practical jokes and first sexual experiences. But just because she tries to ignore her physical changes doesn’t mean they stop…
Movie explanation of the ending
A quiet outsider has no desire to be excluded at her new school and therefore makes a 180-degree turn: First, Mia (Luna Wedler, “The most beautiful girl in the world”) is disoriented by the class and is therefore taken care of by Gianna (Zoë Pastelle Holthuizen, “Amateur Teens”) and her squad bullied. But Mia doesn’t allow herself to be intimidated by the blasphemers and the poser types around Gianna. Instead, she goes on the offensive and joins forces with them. This opens up a new world for the reserved, reserved Mia: Gianna shows Mia porn. She teaches her how to choke herself into an ecstatic dream state and creates a fake age profile for Mia on a dating site. Gianna and her gang drink a lot of alcohol – and Mia joins in on this behavior. Other drugs are also used in this group, and of course they talk openly about sex, a topic that the reserved Mia had never really dealt with before – but that was soon to change radically. What could result in a cramped, wild, screaming film like “Tigermilch”, which tries to capture the exuberant feeling of teenage youth and falls into exhausting monotony, has, under the direction of the Swiss Lisa Brühlmann, become a sensitive, visually stunning coming-of-age. become an age allegory.
Mia (Luna Wedler) and Gianna (Zoë Pastelle Holthuizen) are waiting for the last train.
The actress, who is making her feature film directing debut and was also responsible for the screenplay for “Blue My Mind,” shows her teenage characters testing the limits without any judgmental element. She neither glorifies the goings-on in terms of staging, as Ute Wieland does for long stretches in “Tigermilch,” nor does she wave a warning finger. Brühlmann captures small rule violations such as shoplifting, teenage rebelliousness such as ransacking the parents’ bedroom and even party excesses in slightly distanced camera shots. The scenes run quietly, the cool, ornate film music by Thomas Kuratli rarely attracts attention. Editor Noëmi Preiswerk mostly lets individual sequences run in a few, longer shots, but sometimes ends scenes abruptly and often jumps into the next scene suddenly. In this way, Brühlmann gives her audience enough space to make their own judgment about Mia’s transformation, but at the same time keeps the pace of the narrative high. How much she is a helpless follower, a wallflower who has learned to step outside of herself, a completely normal teenager or at least someone unusual, Brühlmann leaves a large part to her audience’s assessment. Anyway, as long as you’re willing to recognize one thing: Mia deserves our empathy. “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” title heroine Luna Wedler once again delivers an outstanding performance as Mia.
Completely unaffected, she portrays in a natural, approachable way a teenager who feels abandoned: her parents annoy her and restrict her. She can let off steam with her new friends, but as frustrated as she may be with her parents’ rules, Mia repeatedly looks at the jittery behavior of Gianna and her friends with a perplexed, distant look. Not to mention she feels embarrassed about her body in front of them. Mia can’t find the advice she’s looking for from her pediatrician, and although you can have fun with boys and find out what you’re into, serious conversations on an equal level with people your own age are impossible. Wedler shows Mia’s perplexity, her quiet anger and, above all, the emptiness she often feels, just as impressively as the moments in which she is strong and determined. She conveys this emotional chaos with small but expressive facial expressions and gestures, which even more compensates for the radicalism that Mia’s behavior occasionally shows. Although Brühlmann captures this psychogram of a pubescent girl who doesn’t know what to do with herself with authentic dialogues and spices it up with a small, subtle pinch of humor, looks, small gestures and, above all, the imagery are the focus of the film.
The smartphone naturally plays an important role in young people’s everyday lives.
Brühlmann and her cameraman Gabriel Lobos find something like poetry even in desolate classrooms and the sight of an overtired Mia lying in her bed. They prefer to work with soft light and striking color filters. While a turquoise color dominates in Mia’s parents’ house and a clinically clean white at school, party scenes are warmer, for example with a delicate orange or a friendly pink. Brühlmann cleverly counteracts this color scheme. Mia’s parents’ house is not a depressing place, but rather friendly. In the school scenes, the teacher provides casual humor with his comments (“Then just the entertainment industry from the pre-digital age”, sighs the class teacher dryly as Gianna and Co. hijack the vote for the next excursion and advocate an old-fashioned amusement park). And at parties, Mia is usually far less active and dynamic than her friends. The director and author thus once again, quite casually, emphasizes the complexity of her main character – i.e. the difficulty of classifying her, which plagues Mia so much. Brühlmann also conveys Mia’s (perceived) lack of belonging with a metaphorical, otherworldly element, which she establishes early in the film through careful foreshadowing, but only makes clear in the second half of the film. This will probably offend supporters of realistic, straightforward cinema, despite the preparation of this trick. The allegory that Brühlmann implements here with great naturalness strengthens the significance of this youth psychogram. A conclusion as poetic, consistent and frighteningly beautiful as this one would have been difficult to achieve in a thoroughly naturalistic film.
Conclusion: “Blue My Mind” is a visually stunning, beautifully acted film about the feeling of being lost that plagues a teenage girl who has just reached puberty.
“Blue My Mind” can be seen in selected USA cinemas from November 1st.