Lilya 4-Ever (2002)
April 16, 2009
Reviewed by: Emma
Director: Lukas Moodysson
Screenwriter: Lukas Moodysson
Cast: Oksana Akinshina, Artyom Bogucharsky, Elina Benenson, Liliya Shinkaryova
Music: Mein Herz Brennt
This movie felt like it was made for me and every other girl with a fucked up family, who’s been hated by people & spit on for no reason. Even more than that, it’s for every girl who’s been raped, or who has had unpleasant sexual experiences… to the max. No, it’s not as traumatising as Mysterious Skin and it doesn’t tackle the subject head on, but it is quite a large factor of the film. Lilya is a 16 year old girl, and her parents have just left her in a poor area of Russia to go to America. Lilya doesn’t understand why, and neither do we. But after they’ve left, Lilya gets a note, sent from foster care… saying “Lilya has always been an unwanted child. Therefore we are handing her over to your services”.
This film is so interesting because throughout the whole film it has this sort of feeling to it: “It will only keep getting worse”. Then, at the end it’s very idealistic.
It feels like it’s telling us “This life is the most horrible, traumatic and unbearable thing ever. But after we die it gets better”. That’s the take on this film…
It deals a lot with the topic of death, like what happens after, and it focuses mostly on Lilya’s suffering. It shows how she deals with it, and it makes you wonder how you would deal with it, too.
I recommend this film to anyone who feels emotions intensely, who hates their parents, who thinks everyone sucks, who likes to maintain their self integrity, or to anyone who is hated.
This is one of those films that lets you know “You’re not alone”, when people call you crazy or ‘unreasonable’ or all those rational shitheads who like to flaunt their calm and collected detached logic 24/7.
I like what this film attempted… conviction was 80%. Lilya was 100%. Volodya, her only friend, an 11 year old boy, was wonderful. This film is not a must-see but I still recommend it to the people aforementioned.
Overall analysis: The emotions conveyed in this film are done excellently. The way it tries to use film technique and wrap up storylines is not perfection, for example films with a great sequential layout and well placed flashbacks. And because I’m more of a “I like films with emotion” person rather than a “I want my films to use their film conventions perfectly!” person, I approve of this film.
Also, now I wish I had a best friend who was an 11 year old boy. Their relationship is so, so beautiful. I think I liked this film more than I let off.
Watch the trailer: