Dir: Sean McNamara
Cast: Skyler Shaye, Janel Parrish, Logan Browning, Nathalia Ramo, Chelsea Staub and Jon Voight
A masterpiece has arrived. We’ve been waiting patiently all summer for cinema that’s going to touch on and enrich the social, the political and the human in one triumphant swoop.
Bratz: The Movie details the lives of four beautiful young adolescent girls and the trials society presents them, and their friendships, as they enter high school. Like the cavemen who ventured forth from their caverns, the girls represent humanity’s hope to flourish into fully-developed and all-encompassing masters of their own lives.
It’s a meditation on Race. The four girls, or “The Bratz” as they are referred to, are carefully selected based on their ethnic origins - there’s a brunette, a blonde, an Afro-American and a mixed Chinese-American. So everyone’s covered.
Within the mesmerising urban drama is America post-9/11 and its War On Terror. The antagonist Meredith Baxter is Bin Laden. Her clique of minions, the Al Qaeda. In her silver USB key of doom she holds the embarrassing and nasty secrets of every single person who goes to her high school, including the Bratz. It is with this terror - a threat of mass destruction (to their social lives), that Meredith has the school in an iron grip, and it doesn’t help that her father (Voight) is the school principal either (i.e. Iran). The Bratz believe in living free. A standoff becomes inevitable.
In a distressing piece of character work, one of the Bratz turns out to be from a poor background. Thankfully, she learns the lesson that, under these difficult circumstances, it’s important and possible to find rich friends who will give you gift vouchers so you can get that knock-out outfit you always wanted.
In this film a new term is introduced: “Brattitude”. What is “Brattitude”? Not a slogan purely for marketing purposes. It is a statement. It is the ingredient that transforms a young impressionable female ‘tweener’ into a ‘teenager’. It means that, as an 11 or 12 year old, you dress up, apply make-up and pursue an interest in boys. It means that you MUST, AT ALL COSTS, LOOK GOOD DOING EVERYTHING AND THAT SHOPPING FOR CLOTHES IS NOT JUST A HOBBY BUT A WAY OF LIFE.
Searing. Powerful. At times transcendent. Bratz. See it.