After finding myself strolling around His Masters Arms, which I rarely do any more as most of their stores have ceased to exist. I decided to forage through the world cinema section, hoping to find a French coming of age drama which I had carelessly missed. I remember spending most of my teenage years scurrying down to HMV with friends after school hoping to find our next favourite film amongst the endless selections of independent and foreign films.
After what felt like forever I came across this film. I try not to judge DVDs by its front cover, following the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ which happens to apply to many things in life; but the DVD cover did play a part in the purchase of the film. It reminded me of beautiful summers when you’re young that seem to end too soon.
Lila Says is a provocative film which constantly catches you off guard with the thought provoking, ridiculous or just shocking conversations. The film opens with an innocent looking girl looking into the camera in what looks to be a simple backdrop of a moderate and green deprived park. ‘Do want to see my P****’ are the next words to leave her mouth. This opening and closing prelude quite essentially precedes what is to come.
Lila is a girl in her late teens who moves in with her aunty in a deprived part of Marseille. Her instant presence in town is immediately noticeable. As she strolls around town on her bike, every guy on the street can’t help but admire and follow her with their eyes with every step that she takes; and the only guy that seems worthy of her attention is Chimo, a nice guy surrounded by irresponsible and unmotivated friends who are constantly trying to bring him down to their level.
I won’t delve into what happens, so not to spoil the story but this film is absolutely worth watching. It quite essentially takes you on an emotional spin, leaving you gasping at what has been said or angered or bemused by what has taken place.
‘What goes on in her mind is scary, yet I'm as thirsty for it as a fish out of water’
‘I had a dream about you, I was fucking a 100 guys at the same time and they all had your face’
‘I don’t know what to do around her; she’s like a wild country’
‘The girl shakes me up and tosses me around; I’m like a salad in her hands’
‘Stop dreaming and you've got nothing left, but your hands to wipe away your tears’