Biased movie review: “Kyss Mig” (2012)
Spoilers ahead. Brace yourself: it’s a long one.
I finally saw the much-talked about lesbian movie “Kyss Mig”, a LeBox Production, starring the gorgeous Ruth Vega Fernandez and Liv Mjönes, along with Joakim Nätterqvist, Krister Henriksson, Lena Endre (also collaborator), Tom Ljungman and Josefine Tengblad (producer). The movie is written and directed by Alexandra-Theresa Keining, and director of photography is Ragna Jorming. Music (some) and score is by Marc Collin, and make-up is by Charlotte Wolke.
Why mention so many people behind the camera? Because I absolutely love how the movie is presented and made.
Technically, the movie is a beautiful one – beautiful people, beautiful scenery and beautifully shot. It has a warm and soft technicolour (whatever that means). The music is not imposing for the most part – very subtle, gentle and enhances the mood of the scene perfectly. And you can tell that ALL the scenes are choreographed, just like those big-budget films – there’s a lot of spot photometry; focus/unfocus in one shot. Ragna Jorming has done a wonderful job – the cinematography is awesome! The movie is mostly shot in Skane and Fyn, and a bit in Stockholm and Sitges.
I like the make-up of the characters: very natural; they don’t look like a bunch of burlesque dancers trying to lead a ‘normal’ life in the suburb or countryside. Their hair looks very human too – it ruffles in the wind and gets messy when the characters are emotionally burdened. There is very little sign of a kilo of mousse or hair gel on their heads. Thus, the characters look like one of us, normal human being (but of course, ‘normal’ is relative!). And that, ladies and gentlemen, I like very much! Charlotte Wolke did a fantastic job!
The movie itself is rather typical to me – a story about two women who fall in love, have their love challenged, overcome that challenge and then come out of it in one piece, together forever in love. If you’re looking for something “original”, this is probably not the one.
HOWEVER, having said that, I actually like the movie. I would recommend it if you’re looking for a good lesbian movie.
The story is about Mia (Ruth Vega Fernandez) who is engaged and soon to be married to her boyfriend of 7 years, Tim Aaron Bratthall. At her father’s (Krister Henriksson) 60th birthday party, she meets Frida (Liv Mjönes) the daughter of her father’s fiancé, Elisabeth (Lena Endre). That’s when her problems start (and eventual happiness is found). We can identify Mia as reserved and reticent with suppressed emotions, while Frida is free-spirited and out. Mia is seat belt and all, while Frida is tank top and all. That should make a good and satisfying description!
Dialogues are, what I call, minimal. So, when the characters do talk, there’s a lot of substance in the words. Watch for facial expression, eye and body language as well. I personally like movies where there isn’t a lot of talking – emotions need not be expressed in words too much, because as we know, sometimes words are not good enough.
The attention to the small things really makes this movie splendid. For example, we can see at times, Mia flashing her engagement ring here and there, but we know that she’s doing it subconsciously. So, it’s more like a reminder to us (the audience) that she’s engaged while she’s pursuing this love affair. And other things like the button-up shirts, seat belt, wind, sunset, sunrise and even the “vebab” are well placed in this movie.
By the way, you can learn (or be misled) about the Swedish culture from the movie – wine and champaign is part of any meal or no meal, all day/night, and cigarettes are basic necessity in a household. The moment you’re taking a break, you have to light up a cigarette and drink red wine. Remember that the next time you’re visiting Sweden.
Back to the movie.
There are a few sex scenes in the movie. Four, to be precise. The movie opens with a sex scene too! However, I think they are quite modest – nothing too much, but still not safe for children. I thought the sex scenes are well-made though. They are obviously well-rehearsed, with a lot of close-up. I particularly like how the sex scenes are figuratively used to show us the development of Mia’s acceptance of and comfort with her own sexuality. The first one with Tim is shown as stiff, rigid and “yea, I’m doing it because I love you”, but the forth one is hot. Hot but too short, I thought! But perhaps there’s a sense of frustration in that one too! The first sex scene of Mia and Frida together (the second in the movie) is a quiet one. Not even music in the background — just the rustle of the blanket/bed sheet and heavy breathing of the two. And it is a sight to behold! No implants, for sure!
Another scene which I think was very well-made is the swimming scene, where Mia and Frida are frolicking in the water. The gentle music and the cinematography make it sensual and erotic. However, the conversation that follows it kinda kills it. There they are, swimming and frolicking in the water like they want each other and enjoy each other’s company so much. But later, Mia is all like, “Look, I’m not like you!” Huh??!
All in all, I think the movie is great. Josefine Tengblad and Alexandra-Theresa Keining have made a beautiful one, both technically and artistically. It has sensitive direction and fine performances. It is a terrific escapism that will not make you feel dirty the morning after (it’s all relative).