It’s a boy/girl thing

SFX - - Reviews - Sarah Dobbs

It’s hard be­ing a teenage girl. It’s par­tic­u­larly hard when you don’t look like the pop­u­lar girls, or act like them, or even par­tic­u­larly want to be one of them. Best friends Kim (Tuva Jag­ell), Momo (Louise Ny­vall) and Bella (Wilma Holmén) have it par­tic­u­larly hard, their awk­ward­ness mak­ing them the per­fect tar­get for school bul­lies. But ev­ery­thing changes when they dis­cover a magic plant with the power to turn them into teenage boys…

Based on award-win­ning Young Adult novel Po­jkarna (it trans­lates as The Boys), this Swedish su­per­nat­u­ral drama is es­sen­tially a body-swap story, but with none of the jokes you’d ex­pect from that genre. In­stead, it’s a sen­si­tive and heart­felt ex­plo­ration of gen­der, and what it means to be a girl – or a boy. Some of the visual metaphors are a lit­tle on the nose (but­ter­flies? Re­ally?) but it’s gor­geously lensed, and the trans­for­ma­tion scenes are stun­ning.

The fi­nal act feels a lit­tle over­stuffed, as it tries to pack in pretty much ev­ery prob­lem a teen of ei­ther gen­der might en­counter, and be­cause there’s so much go­ing on some of the emo­tional beats don’t hit as hard as they should. Still, bet­ter too many ideas than too few, and the qui­etly dev­as­tat­ing end­ing leaves you with plenty to think about.

The win­dow’s hair­style was com­ing along nicely.

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