Teen’s Spirit Motivates Audience Members


Teen Spirit opens this weekend.

Kateryna Miroshnichenko, Staff Writer

Teen Spirit is a musical drama about a teenage girl. There are a lot of musicals about high school students willing to climb the career ladder in music, because young actors are charismatic and teens audiences often fall in love with them!  Being screened in a musical is also an opportunity for a young actor to get popularity and recognition. It is a positive thing that benefits both actors, who gain popularity, and the audience, who enjoy stories they can very well relate to and music that stick with them in a positive way.

Unlike some of the other films in this genre, which focus on a talented young person trying to live their dream, there is no love story in Teen Spirit.   In fact, Violet (played by Elle Fanning) believes that “love is not real.”  Since I love romantic conclusions and plots, I was disappointed that Violet never found a special someone, but that was simply not the focus of this story.

This movie is likely to motivate young people to believe that there is nothing that they are not able to do. If teenagers have a will and a dream, they will do whatever is necessary to make it come true.  Eventually their parents will come around and stop standing in the way.

An overview of the film indicates that “Teen Spirit is a visceral and stylish spin on the Cinderella story.”   This is not quite accurate, as Violet has a loving mother and she never does find her prince. Still, she does have her own Fairy Godmother in the form of Vlad (Zlatko Buric) who helps Violet to start following her dreams.

At 1 hr and 32 minutes, there are some details that are left out of the film.  For example, what was the process of auditions? What was the point of dancing and where did groups get all the movements? What message is the director portraying when showing Violet’s childhood in seconds-long flashbacks?

However, despite those minor criticisms, it is a musical and I loved the music. Concerts within the film were powerful. It was also impressive that Elle Fanning sings all of her songs. It was far more favorable to watch her and hear her real voice rather than hearing a perfect and modified recording performed by someone else. Fanning’s voice appeared to break sometimes, but the reality of her performance was beautiful. I felt as if I were actually attending a concert.

This movie accomplished a lot.  In addition to the uplifting story and wonderful music, it also contained Polish and Russian characters, so audience members, such as myself, will appreciate being able to relate to a character such as Violet.  Overall, I recommend this film, especially to anyone who enjoys musicals.