TIFF Next Wave 2019: Our Review Of ‘Blue My Mind’

Posted in Film Festivals, Movies, Theatrical, TIFF Next Wave 19 by - February 14, 2019
TIFF Next Wave 2019: Our Review Of ‘Blue My Mind’

Blue My Mind wants to dive into the deep emotional trenches of teen angst but ends up wading in the kiddie pool. Lisa Brühlmann’s coming-of-age story is half as clever as its punny title and squanders its intriguing premise.

If you’ve watched Blue My Mind’s trailer or glanced at the poster than you know its conceit is as on-the-nose as metaphors get. The film sees a young girl named Mia (Luna Wedler) starting out at a new school mid-semester. At first, she’s just another outsider, but her give no f*cks attitude wins over the local group of popular mean girls.

The rest of the story puts the slow in slow burn as it follows Mia’s self-destructive behaviour. And all the while, her body experiences odd “changes.” That’s because *SPOILERS* Blue My Mind uses turning into a mermaid as a metaphor for growing up. That sounds like a fun concept but rest assured, it’s not.

Blue My Mind isn’t a plot-driven story. The film mostly hangs back and soaks up the mundanity of day-to-day life. It reminds me of Jonah Hill’s Mid90s in that way. At times they’re both revelries to the joys of youth. And in other moments they play out like every parent’s nightmare, focused on reckless teens shambling from one potential disaster to the next.

Mia and the choices she makes simply aren’t interesting. She lacks the complexity of a character like Saoirse Ronan’s Lady Bird (a walking Yin and Yang of conflicting wants and desires). And once the body dysmorphic sub-text becomes literal, the movie goes completely off the rails. Blue My Mind tells us that the reason some troubled young girls feel like freaks is that they really are abnormal, and society would benefit if they dove into the ocean and swam away.

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Victor Stiff is a Toronto-based freelance writer and pop culture curator. Victor currently contributes insights, criticisms, and reviews to several online publications where he has extended coverage to the Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs, Toronto After Dark, Toronto ComiCon, and Fan Expo Canada. Victor has a soft spot in his heart for Tim Burton movies and his two poorly behaved beagles (but not in that order).
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