Girlhood ★★½

It should be interesting to get a glimpse of the life of underprivileged girls outside Paris, but it feels like it is written by someone far removed from the life on screen. There have been plenty of films about boys in the same situation and it turns out they are dealing with a lot of the same problems.

The focus of the film is the protagonist trying out the various roles that are available and expected for a person of her stature. It's a nice structure with each chapter ending with a fade to black as the role is rejected and the girl reinvents herself. Neither role goes deeper than a stereotype that is already obvious, and every character is completely one-dimensional. It's fine that the protagonist is trying to find herself and not wanting to be a stereotype, but the film doesn't seem to believe that there is anything else.

The strongest scenes are the spectacular hotel scenes showing that the high point of these girls' existence is renting a night of pretending to be stars, paying with stolen money. They are happy scenes with an underlying sad reality of little hope. Unfortunately the film seems as fake as the girls miming to a pop song.

Carl liked this review