Tuesday, 18 August 2015

REVIEW - THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL (MARIELLE HELLER)


The Diary of a Teenage Girl possesses both an ease and an uneasiness, comfort combined with discomfort, a mixture emblematic of the frankness with which this film has been assembled. It's a neat, necessary reflection of the duality of the film's purview as rendered in our objective minds, considering what is right and what is true, what is felt by one person and what is felt by another; Marielle Heller is sympathetic in her presentation of the film's supporting characters as legitimate living entities in this regard, though the film is unapologetically narrow-minded in its own character, as the uncensored thoughts of an unabashed teenage girl. What has been restricted from her as a minor is liberated, as she discovers that human nature rather rejects true liberation, and goes from feeling enslaved to a desire to being enslaved to a new reality. Funny how what we force away from our children will only force itself upon them in time, and to far more damaging effect - that's my interpretation, though, not the film's. The Diary of a Teenage Girl is to each of us what we individually make of it, but the film itself is what its lead individually makes of her own situation: narrow-minded in its portrait of a broad mind. That bestows upon Heller's film an affable, singular outlook, yet the film strangely limits itself as such, and makes fitful connections to the world around it in a manner that seems to betray its otherwise obsessively clear focus. Perhaps this is just another of this film's beguiling dichotomies, its restless refusal to relent to definite distinctions - even so, it hinders an emotionally rich film from becoming equally formally rich.