Teen Spirit Review
Teen Spirit is written and directed by Max Minghella and its stars Elle Fanning, Rebecca Hall, and Zlatko Buric.
Violet is a shy teenager who dreams of escaping her small town and pursuing her passion to sing. With the help of an unlikely mentor, she enters a local singing competition that will test her integrity, talent, and ambition. Driven by a pop-fueled soundtrack, Teen Spirit is a visceral and stylish spin on the Cinderella story.
So the film follows a shy teenager who dreams of escaping her small town in pursuing her passion to sing, with the help of an unlikely mentor she enters a local singing competition that will test her integrity talent, and ambition.
Now If you have been tracking this film for any amount of time you know that it actually premiered last year at the Toronto International Film Festival and it was a film that I didn’t get a chance to see but I was very much looking forward to.
This has been quite the journey for Max Minghella as it’s his directorial debut and it took a lot of time effort pleading money you name it just to get this film off the ground in the first place.
But it was a script that spoke to many people including producer Jamie Bell who worked very closely with Minghella on this film.
And even Elle Fanning herself sought out this role after reading the script and falling in love with the main character.
So as a result you can really see the passion and energy of all of the creative voices involved come through.
Max Minghella’s dream-like American Idol-style Cinderella story is ultimately one we’ve seen countless times before and one will continue to see again.
But what separates teen spirit from other rags-to-riches stories is the intoxicating direction from Max Minghella.
Mandela’s interpretation can be compared to an exceptionally played cover of a familiar song. We all know it and we can sing along to the beats, but the artist starts breathing new life into it by making it their own.
And so you may be listening to something familiar, but the end result is ultimately a fresh new take.
Minghella creates an atmosphere a mood where the audience is able to inhabit the moment with violet our main character.
Teen Spirit is neon in hazy with many fluids and subtle camera movements that create a calming sense of it, while effectively replicating the emotions of violet.
His captivating trance-like visuals given life by cinematographer autumn Durand and kinetic editing allow for the music a carefully curated soundtrack that perfectly amplifies the significance of each moment to pulse through the veins of the audience as they become entrenched in the power of violets performance.
Minghella takes these feelings often utilized in music videos and transfers them to a narrative format and this works both for and against the film.
Teen Spirit does ultimately feel like the latest pop star music video. A glamorous piece of eye candy but offering very little in the way of true depth.
What I will say is that the visuals are effective. It’s not just the film that looks good for the sake of looking good.
Like I mentioned earlier, the movie really utilizes these visuals to create an atmosphere and feeling and so it really allows you to get into the emotions of the characters. Maybe not as deep as you’d like to but it is still effective in that regard.
There are glimmers of something more compelling at work here most visibly seen in the exchanges between violet and her unlikely mentor a former opera phenomenon named Vlad played by a delightful Zlatko Buric who’s fallen from grace into the bottom of a bottle.
The spirit never dives deeper and perhaps it doesn’t need to for the reasons I’ve already mentioned. But I couldn’t help but feel there was a little bit left to be desired walking out of the film.
I would have liked for the filmmakers to delve a bit deeper into the psychological effects this kind of competition can have on an individual, they touch on it ever so briefly but it comes across half-baked.
That being said what truly elevates teen spirit to stardom is a versatile performance by Elle Fanning.
For those of you who don’t know Elle Fanning can sing and she performed all of the musical numbers live on stage from multiple takes and according to Max Minghella the quality never faltered and it showed.
Fanning exercises the entirety of her creative talents ranging from exceptional live performances that showcase her abilities as a singer to softer somber and more internal mannerisms that illustrate a character who is truly free when on stage.
She brings everything to the table with such confidence and continues to prove why she is one of this generation’s great talents.
Fittingly the anthem of Teen Spirit is Elle’s cover of dancing on my own by Robin and Minghella could not have chosen a more adequate track.
It speaks not only to Violet’s struggle as a shy dreamer overcoming her personal demons and vying for her time in the limelight. But to Minghella’s own perseverance in bringing this project to life.
It’s much like the artist Robin and Violet have transitioned from teen star to pop queen for a new generation.
Minghella’s spirited transition from actor to director presents him as an exciting new voice whose music you can’t wait to hear more of.
And so for all of these reasons and the reasons I mentioned throughout my review.
I’m going to give Teen Spirit a C-Plus.
Guys thank you so much as always for reading the review of the Teen Spirit movie. See you next time.
Teen Spirit Trailer
Check out the trailer of the drama Music Film, Teen Spirit .