'Blue My Mind' review: Coming of age is just as bad as turning into a monstrous fish
The film compares hitting puberty to turning into a giant monstrous fish and although it seems shocking, the story unravels so beautifully, by the end of it you know it is true
Puberty is difficult and 'Blue My Mind' gets it right, no doubt.
While most coming of age films treat it like the beginning of a peppy fairytale, where you seal the deal with the kiss, this one has no qualms about just letting it run into the opposite direction. The film compares hitting puberty to turning into a giant monstrous fish and although it seems like a shocking concept, the story unravels so beautifully, by the end of it you know it is true.
The film explores the psyche of a teenager whose body is going through some bizarre changes - she's moved to a new city, she's trying to make some new friends, she's navigating her way through boys and drugs, and she's on the threshold of learning what an absolute pain periods can be. If these weren't enough to add to the teenage angst, she's growing scales and is overcome by the urge to eat live fish.
She's uncomfortable, lonely and confused and is trying to just keep her head down and hoping that the storm will pass — unfortunately, it doesn't.
A powerful story told through a character named Mia, the film is as empowering as a teen movie can get. Social boundaries don't exist in the mind of this teen and she is absolutely certain that this is her journey alone. This sort of clarity and maturity in such a young character is refreshing to see. Mia's urges to fit in but eventually accept her body is something most adults cannot accomplish all their lives. As scaly as her skin is, she feels no less womanly — she knows that she's always been on the inside.
Unlike most of the teen flicks we see today, 'Blue My Mind' has grasped the real picture behind exploring one's sexuality in the current age. It also manages to coyly add how pornography has shaped the way we see sex. It continues to walk the tightrope between how much of it is really what we want and how much of it is just conditioning, all the while taking us through the journey of transformation.
This is a body positivity film even if you don't see it that way at first. Mia is going through her transformation, slowly at first and then rapidly and it makes her anxious and alienated. It is as bad as going through any other teenage woes — acne and weight gain, anyone? Everyone refuses to hear to her out — all they really do is tell her what they think is her problem. It's an unwanted TED talk situation. Mia takes up the herculean task to navigate through the murky waters of self-doubt and make it into the deep blue sea of freedom.
The mental discomfort is very real, so is the emotional upheaval, especially when rules about what is 'normal' come into the picture. At a terrifying time like this, drugs, drinking and rebellion come into the picture. The film tackles teenage vices, unconventional circles as well as body modification choices. There's a lingering fear throughout the film that she's going to go too far off the edge and that will be the end of it. Adolescence is one of those times that are tricky and can make or break you for the longest time. Mia toes the lines again and again in the film. Questionable circles, shoplifting and participating in self-harm just to prove a point are some highlights that are all too real in this fantasy-horror film.
But that's what makes this film and its theme so special. In spite of knowing all the things you do, nothing ever prepares you for the metamorphosis.
'Blue My Mind' releases on November 13. The film stars Luna Wedler as Mia and Zoë Pastelle Holthuizen as Gianna. It is written and directed by Lisa Brühlmann. Watch the trailer below: