February 09, 2015

Girlhood (2014)

Girlhood (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Celine Sciamma
Country: France

Movie Review: With “Girlhood”, French writer/director, Celine Sciamma, addresses once again the subject of coming of age, but in a totally different perspective than in “Tomboy”. Sciamma created the perfect scenario to depict her main character, a 16-year-old girl called Marieme (Karidja TourĂ©) who decided to stop being shy, getting away from her precarious family life and giving up school in order to join a gang of the hood, formed by three older girls: Adiatou, Lady and Fily. Their day-to-day basically consisted in drinking, smoking, stealing clothes from stores and money from frightened schoolgirls, in addition to engage in street fights with other gangs. Bashful at first, Marieme soon learned how to look straight into the eyes of people and talk aggressively. With absent parents, she showed to be always very attentive and responsible regarding her sisters, but her main concern was her older brother who often reacted violently if she didn’t comply with his demands. As ambition grows hastily and dreams get wings, Marieme takes unreliable steps to assure her freedom and independence, even if she has to sacrifice her love for one of his brother’s best friends. Socially incisive, “Girlhood” was consciously written and generally well performed, but I felt it got stranded for too long in the ‘cool’ postures of the girls, what made the film not to flow during particular periods of time. Sciamma’s execution was not always empathic, occasionally turning “Girlhood” into an immature exposure that gains emphasis after it has given the sensation that we had reached the end, for at least a couple of times. It’s observant, without a doubt, but sinned for being insistently unripe in determined scenes.

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