Earlier this month, the highly anticipated Miseducation of Cameron Post made its UK debut in which Chloë Grace Moretz gives an amazing performance as the young Cameron Post who’s standing up for the love she believes in.
British director Deborah Haywood’s Pin Cushion film came out in September during which newcomer and leading actress Lily Newmark shows us the devastating consequences of bullying.
Now it seems that we can add another coming-of-age film to that list as, Bliss! is released on VOD. Sadly, this newest work from director Rita Osei (“Room to Let”, “The Curry Club”) doesn’t reach the same level as its predecessors.
When you have a loving, caring and heart-warming family, it’s the most amazing feeling there’s in the world. However, this isn’t a position everyone is lucky enough to be in.
Tasha, Freya Parks (“Jane Eyre”, “Les Miserables”), a very head-strong 16-year old girl, is living with her four other siblings and her mom under one roof but, sadly, they’re not the happy family they deserve to be.
While her mother is more concerned about her own future and well-being, she completely neglects her five precious children, including Tasha. If this isn’t hard enough on Tasha, she discovers her father isn’t the man she thought he was.
Her older sister Jenny, Lauren W. Johns (“Pride”, “Honeytrap”) confides in her that a man, only known as The Viking, was around when she was born and as convinced and stubborn as she is, Tasha is descending to Norway in the hope of finding her long-lost father.
While she’s on the search to reconnect with this mysterious man, the rest of the family is getting through an incredibly rough patch. Jenny is moving into her own flat while big brother Danny, Reece Noi (“Game Of Thrones (TV)”, “K-Shop”) is becoming a father for the first time. Something he’s struggling with and insecure about it at the same time. Will Tasha find her father and what will have become of her family when she’s back?
As you can tell, the typical characteristic elements of a coming-of-age film are present in Bliss!, without any doubt. First of all, it’s all about finding your inner self but also your place in the world.
While Tasha is on the lookout for her father, she’s also unconsciously looking for herself, her identity and who she wants to be when growing up.
Secondly, the usual coming-of-age film topics can be also found in Bliss! While the man Tasha always knew as her father, is behind lock and key for abuse, her big brother is getting ready to become a dad for the first time. Even when he’s not 100% ready for it.
Her mother isn’t giving her children the attention they deserve while Tasha feels like an outcast. Pregnancy, violence, friendship and family. It’s all there.
Bliss! is also very open and welcoming when it comes to the cinematography, music and setting. No special effects, incredibly luxury mansions or the newest hottest music beats. Just a homely, ordinary and yes, honestly also kind of a boring vibe.
In a movie like this it’s also about vulnerability, doubting yourself, re(discovering) and all emotions of the emotional spectrum. Just like any film of this genre, the movie is being carried by the lead character.
Freya Park’s performance as Tasha might not be from the same captivating standard as Moretz’s in Miseducation of Cameron Post but it’s still very enjoyable to watch.
She dares to portray her character as an unattractive rebel who clearly doesn’t want to play it by the rules. Who hates authority and who’s not counting on anyone’s sympathy. Both hard and vulnerable.
Pleasing acting performances, the top characteristics and a wonderful storyline so then why doesn’t Bliss! get to the same level as any other coming-of-age film.
It’s just a little bit too ordinary and, because of that, the pace of this movie is incredibly slow. Yes, the performances are captivating but not enough to grab your attention for the entire movie.
The story just misses a little bit more action, excitement or an unusual plot twist to keep this excited.
We’re pretty sure that the teenagers of today will really enjoy this latest Rita Osei work. They will recognize themselves in this fine movie with a very natural and not complex story.
Despite the fact that the acting performances won’t stick with you for a long time afterwards, they’re still very pleasing and wonderful. It’s just that the adults amongst us might look for some other movie than Bliss!.