Three teenage girls find out what it’s like being boys after drinking the nectar of a strange plant in gender-bending Swedish fantasy Girls Lost, adapted from Jessica Schiefauer’s award-winning YA novel Pojkarna by writer-director Alexandra-Therese Keining.
Kim, Momo and Bella are bullied outcasts at their school but find they are instantly popular in their new male guises. Formerly despised Cinderellas, they are now Prince Charmings. However, the magic only lasts overnight and the supply of nectar is running out. Which is unfortunate for Kim. Having taken a shine to thuggish local lout Tony, she feels much more at home in her male body.
Girls Lost boasts some interesting ideas and fine performances, with the leading female trio of Tuva Jagell, Louise Nyvall and Wilma Holmen extremely well matched by the actors playing their male alter egos (Emrik Ohlander, Alexander Gustavsson and Vilgot Ostwald Versterlund). Add to this the eerie cinematic magic Keining conjures up in the transformation scenes and it is all the more disappointing that the film’s drab and messy second half diminishes its impact.
When it comes to gender-fluid Scandinavian tales with a supernatural bent, Girls Lost can’t match the potent charge of 2008’s Let the Right One In.
Certificate 15. Runtime 104 mins. Director Alexandra-Therese Keining
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