Film Review: Girl Picture

by Director Alli HaapasaloSTRAND RELEASING
reviewed by Eric Hillis
Girl Picture

Mimmi (Aamu Milnoff), Rönkkö (Eleonoora Kauhanen), and Emma (Lineea Leino) are all in their late teens, a time of their lives that’s ironically and incon-veniently very serious yet very superficial. Director Alli Haapasalo’s film follows their romantic entanglements—Mimmi and Emma with one another, Emma with a series of disappointing boys—while finding time for other subplots.

Haapasalo isn’t interested in gaining our approval or sympathy for her young heroines. She simply presents them with all the messy and relatable flaws of young women emerging from the cocoon of childhood into the harsh adult world.

Such depictions make for a refreshingly honest portrayal of everyday teens messing up at a time when doing so has no major consequences. Regardless of your age or gender you’ll likely relate to the three young women at the center of Girl Picture. The film will remind you of the mistakes you made at that age, but also the fun you had. For the most part, this is a wildly enjoyable and entertaining movie occasionally interrupted by some serious matters, much like teenage life.

Coming-of-age movies tend to be as visually appealing as TV sitcoms, but Girl Picture bucks the trend with nocturnal, neon-dappled images that might be mistaken for a Michael Mann thriller. Haapasalo makes great use of her country’s famously short days to plunge her heroines into a world of almost constant night life.

The harsh lights of the mall where Mimmi and Rönkkö spend their days working at a smoothie counter and the cold white blanket of ice Emma, a figure skater, performs on are contrasted with the warm throbbing neon of nightclubs and, in one particularly striking sequence, the flashing lights of laser tag guns. This picture of girls is beautifully framed.

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