First Time Watch: Blue My Mind
Updated: Jun 25, 2020
More so lately than usual, I've found myself searching through the libraries of many a streaming service in a more frequent and thorough manner. The likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime have been searched from corner to corner in look for my next viewing pleasure - or displeasure -, especially with this new series I have started.
However, mindlessly scrolling through the thousands of titles and actually choosing one are completely different tasks, with the latter seeming somewhat impossible at times. No matter what, I always seem to be questioning what to watch, usually due to sheer laziness in all honesty. Now here I was a few nights ago, scrolling through the libraries when I looked at Instagram to see that a work colleague had watched a film I'd been dying to see for a while. This was a film I had frantically searched for over a few years now and I was more than happy to find out it was on NOW TV.
The film in question, as given away from the title, was a German-language indie film called 'Blue My Mind' by Lisa Bruhlmann. Now, this most definitely won't be one that is ringing through to loads of people, but nonetheless, is one I've searched for a lot. In 2018, I had the pleasure to attend the exceptional Glasgow Film Festival which was a great time with a solid bunch of movies on show. However, I disappointingly missed out on seeing 'Blue My Mind' as the date didn't match the days I was attending and couldn't afford multiple trips as a part-time working student. Having read the plot and seeing the trailer and genre, I was heavily intrigued by this film and was gutted that I would be missing out on it. I made sure to look it up and bookmark it so I could check back at later times. For so long, I had no luck. This one slipped past me and seemed to be forever escaping me as I could not find this film anywhere. It seemed like a forbidden love story as we never seemed meant to be until finally, we were together.
Plot Synopsis: Mia, a 15-year-old, is facing an overwhelming transformation. Her body is changing radically, and despite desperate attempts to halt the process, she is soon forced to accept that nature is far more powerful than her.
Now although I mentioned that the trailer intrigued me a lot, I would like to urge you to not watch it as it does give away some of its more shocking moments and will build up some level of expectation. What I will say, though, is that this a coming of age teen drama with a dose body horror flung into the mix. With recent years producing great female lead coming of age films such as 'The Edge of Seventeen' and 'Lady Bird' being particularly noteworthy.
However, 'Blue My Mind' is vastly different to these, a more suitable comparison would be to Julia Ducouranau's incredible 'Raw'. There is no comedy or real quirkiness to this coming of age story, an aspect that is a common feature in mainstream flicks of the genre. Instead, it focuses deep on the tougher times of adolescence and can only be described as tough and extremely bleak.
We open with our protagonist Mia (the exceptional Luna Wedler) settling into her new home. Much like the beginning of 'Inside Out' - and that's the last comparison I'll be making to that movie in this review - Mia is unimpressed with her new surroundings and isn't taking much of an interest of them either. With the troubles of a new environment, the 15-year-old also begins to change, bringing plenty of new anxieties along the way. The film focuses heavily on themes of womanhood and the new pressures that young women face and rarely in a positive manner. But this is a great strength for the film as it places you firmly in the psychology of its main character. With detailed events and constant allegory, the viewer sees exactly how Mia feels about everything, from periods to first experiences with love and drugs.
With a look at these kinds of experiences comes a tough watch. Mia wants to fit in as so many teens want to, never mind those new to an area and is wanting to do whatever in order to make friends. From this, we see a number of events of the character forcing herself to do certain things, not because she wants to, but because she feels the need to due to her peers. The results from this lead to poor repercussions, which end up piling on top of one another which then leaks into other aspects of her life. Despite seeing this destruction to her life, you can relate and understand why she is doing so. At times you don't agree at all with her choices but it is a fantastic depiction of teenage life and how too much of certain excess, pressure and stress can be destructive. The film certainly has its dark moments, especially later on with some disturbing scenes that are breaking, showcasing some of the worst sides of adolescence and the people young women may encounter.
Alongside Mia is a single best friend Gianna (Zoe Pastelle Holthuizen), who bond massively over drunken fun nights and a whole lot less fun aftermaths. This aspect of Mia's life lacks real personality, instead, we have a series of actions showcasing their togetherness, mainly to do with intoxication. Again, this showcases periods of adolescence and what many will go through. The duo are clearly friends, but it doesn't seem like a true friendship. Sure they're together now but with a lack of commonality and the constant negativity that follows them, you can't see the same closeness lasting as they fully mature and truly find themselves. The finale sums this up and does showcase that the two cherish each other, but ultimately that it won't last and how that is okay. In fact, that message of how everything that's happening can eventually turn around and can just be somewhat of a slump, leaving this bleak film with a hopeful and encouraging ending.
As previously mentioned, body horror is featured as it showcases some nasty images and scenes. Showcasing clearly as to how body changes can make you feel different, disgusting and ashamed at this period of your life and how that can affect your psyche. In terms of the film's story, it does somewhat back itself into a corner in the endNonetheless, it's an excellent depiction of puberty, showcasing an image of how we view ourselves as our bodies started to change.
'Blue My Mind' sacrifices character for a relentlessly brutal portrayal of modern womanhood and the experiences one may face. At times, it's a difficult watch but its palpable and compelling. It seems to be drawn from experiences and one that many will relate to a shocking amount. Covering loads of bases, this is a great piece of work that deserves to be seen by more. I'll refrain from using the blatantly obvious pun to encapsulate my feelings about this feature but I can't stress how great this film was.
Final Rating: 4/5
This film is currently looming deep in the NOW TV World Cinema catalogue and if you fancy something a bit different, then I implore you to give this great film a chance. It's a huge relief that after all this time searching for this film has lead to a more than worthy viewing. Once again, thank you for giving this series a read, I hope you have enjoyed this post and also have something to add to the watchlist. Keep an eye out for posts soon and I hope to see you in the next one!