Sometimes I’m just surprised to see how certain non film actors brilliantly shape out the characters with raw energy and instinctive urge to make us drawn towards the protagonist than all those top star actors. This 15 years old girl named Mia was one of that impressive debut of Katie Jarvis where attitude and conflict is the poetry on screen. As per IMDB trivia she was offered the role by a casting director while being spotted on having fight with her boyfriend on railway station. That turns out as perfect decision to portray an existential angst of a girl of this age.
The film was made by a woman filmmaker named Andrea Arnold who won Oscar for short film ‘Wasp’. Haven’t seen her other films I must say I’m impressed the way she portrayed the film with grim, dark and edgy account of existential despair and hopelessness focusing us to the unlikely ugly and bitchy realistic view of British working class family; where on face value nobody cares damn about anyone. There is absence of father and the mom is more like a tart who keeps verbally abusing her elder daughter. The poor kid sister too is under the shadow of her mom and didn’t mind abusing her elder sibling. Mia is15 years old girl thrown away from school and spending her days aimlessly wearing rebel aggression on her inner and external body language. Family life is absolutely crumbling world for her; the only hope of her life lies in her solitary self expressions of dancing moves to hip hop beats.
The film is shot beautifully keeping the POV of Mia in central to all. It’s fine and sensitive portrayal of an individual who’s growing young amid hopeless world around. Her struggle for identity, hope, love and the inner conflict are reflected so damn well with attitude of anger and instinctive and unconventional non feminine expressions by Jarvis. Her mother’s new boyfriend (played with restraint by Michael Fassbender) brought a flash of hope to Mia’s life but that too becomes illusory. Apart of getting her identity recognized in contest and an urge to free that chained horse is something meaningful to her. I was expecting some sort of heavy tragedy towards the end but the film ended like an independent cinema should and that’s the beauty about it. That shot of free balloon flying higher and higher aimlessly without any fixed direction conveys a lot. The film manages to won number of awards, including prestigious BAFTA award and Jury Prize at
Cannes. Surely an
impressive film to recommend for all indie film lovers.