Film: Dryads – Girls Don’t Cry
Director: Sten Hellevig
Cast: Allan Hyde, Thea Sofie Loch Naess, Iben M. Akerlie
Genre: Drama, Musical
Text: Yeonwoo Baik
Hilde, who sings in a choir and lives in a perfect, neat house, is attracted to a girl next door who listens to the Velvet Underground and Nirvana and sings in a band herself. Hilde harbours admiration towards her, ripping posters of her once-favourite musicians off her wall, searching google for information on Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol. She secretly photographs the girl and uploads the pictures to her Instagram, calling her ‘it-girl next door’. By coincidence, she gets to exchange a few words with Henriette, the girl. Hilde is invited to Henriette’s house, which is full of teens yearning to be musicians. Hilde feels drawn by their world and ventures into it to mingle with them.
Events in the film are divided into chapters with buffering signals. Songs featured in the film appear with their titles and musicians just like in a TV show. Text messages Hilde exchanges with her friend are shown on the screen with cheery tapping sound of the touch pad. We see Hilde taking photos of Henriette and uploading them on Instagram. She makes videos out of the photos and uploads them to YouTube. When Hilde’s father forbids Hilde from using the mobile phone and computers, Hilde shouts: «It’s impossible!» Indeed, Hilde builds her relationships through electronic devices and the Internet. Henriette also takes advantage of the power of the Internet. The format and the content of «Dryads – Girls Don’t Cry» merge together to form a portrait of young people today who connect to the world through the Internet. In addition, the sensual music of the film adds to the young and fresh spirit that the film pursues.
One important issue that distinguishes itself in this era is the issue of privacy and control, which is touched upon in the film. We may flinch during the scenes where Hilde takes photos of Henriette or shares them on Instagram without her knowledge. Hilde also loses control of the potential consequence of her behaviours once those behaviours meet the Internet. «Dryads – Girls Don’t Cry» depicts how people lose control of their own lives as a result of the power of the Internet.
Sometimes the difference between Hilde’s world and Henriette’s world, or their asymmetric relationship are too dramatized, to the point when it becomes quite hard not to laugh. But even that’s okay given the theme of the film—we all remember how awkward we were when we ourselves were the protagonists of our own coming-of-age films, or how childish we can become when we start to idolize someone. «Dryads – Girls Don’t Cry» touches various sides of the lives of young people today, but it is not shallow or in too much of a hurry to cover all those issues. Everything is neatly organized with appropriate proportion and depth, without losing cheerfulness. The film is indeed a charming portrait of today’s generation, and adeptly and cheerfully depicts the way young people form relationships with each other and with the world.