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Teen Spirit: A Simple Effective Underdog Story, With Delightful Tunes Grade: B

Updated: May 1, 2019

Source: IMDB


Teen Spirit tells a story of a young Polish food runner school girl living in a small island named Violet (Elle Fanning). She loves to sing, as she does it time to time at the place she works at. A popular United Kingdom television show Teen Spirit is looking for contestants in Violet's small island. So Violet tries out, as she needs a guardian for the upcoming round the next day. Her last resort to find a guardian, whom will allow her to compete is a former Opera singer Vlad (Zlatko Buric). Vlad now is a casual restaurant regular whom really likes her voice and sees potential in her talent , he agrees to pretend he's her uncle to compete, only if he'll be her manager. Witness the journey of the completely shy but talented singer, whom is looking to come out of her shell to become a star and hoping to win Teen Spirit. I enjoyed The Cinematography in this film, has unique style to it relating to neon light colors. Especially whenever Violet had to sing in the competition or when she was out in the club, the film just looks really nice, I enjoyed the neon color pallet as it compliments it's style well. The Score was solid too, as of course it plays an important role to this film. Who knew Elle Fanning can bring her A Game to the music side?! Really enjoyed her singing, sounded pretty good in these pop songs, adding some kind of country flavor to them. The cast of this film was good. Early on Elle Fanning struggled her Polish accent early on, as it was a bit scattered, but then she cleaned it up later on. I enjoyed her performance, her character Violet was someone I rooted for, it was adorable to watch her grow over time from being a shy girl with no performing experience, blossomed into a butterfly over time. I liked Zlatko Buric as this unexpected side kick character, who came to be kind of like a father figure Violet needed in her life. Zlatko's and Elle's chemistry was adorable to watch, the odd pair worked well together, really enjoyed their scenes together. Agnieszka Grochowska playing Violet's mom played a solid performance as well. I liked Rebecca Hall for her short time as a talent manager, her scenes were pretty good, such a good actress I do say. Although Teen Spirit may not wow anybody, I found it to be a delightful simply told film. I found the story to be simple as we've heard a story like this told before, yet it was effective as it all comes down to our main protangist. It's an underdog story in which isn't extremely Hollywood and overly dramatic, she goes through a couple struggles including opening up her personality. When Vlad comes into play, he doesn't give up on her despite her failures, he still believes she can achieve a great amount of success with her talent, as they continue to work hard as they hope a better opportunity comes about. The ending I felt was sweet, as a reminder that you always should stick with people that were with you at the bottom instead of going towards people jumping on your bandwagon. I adore all of Violet's singing scenes, I liked how the first singing scene told a story of her past as that was really clever, style that came with a purpose. There are a few flaws with Teen Spirit. Pacing can sometimes be a bit slow. Also early on Violet claims she's 21, but tells the talent agency of Teen Spirit she's 17, I guess to keep herself in the competiton. However this never comes up again, as I'm wondering why there wasn't a conflict regarding this or why even mention it at all if nothing comes about?! Also how come Teen Spirit never asked for her birth certificate?! People have lied about their age in order to enter a competition or compete in sports too, just seems odd for a major singing competition show to not run any background check. The film maker did get carried away one moment with a style over substance choice, as it felt distracting without a purpose. If you're looking for a well told story, with cool main characters, lovely music to listen to, and a unique style Teen Spirit is defenitly for you. Overall, Teen Spirit was a good film, it was cute in my eyes. I recommend this film, give it a chance it's a nice watch. -Mitch Smietana


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