A 15-year-old only child thrown into a cliquish new school may believe her social struggles are spelled out for her, but Mia (Luna Wedler) — the forthright protagonist of Swiss actor Lisa Brühlmann’s feature directing debut about tortured adolescence, “Blue My Mind” — has other currents roiling inside her too.
She not only wonders if her parents are her biological ones, but notices her body is changing in ways that don’t entirely make sense to her. Whatever it is, though, it’s affecting her skin color, pushing her toward ever more reckless behavior, and for some reason making the fish in mom’s aquarium really appetizing.
Between the water imagery, gurgling fish-tank sounds and aquatic tint to Gabriel Lobos’ cinematography, it’s not hard to figure out where Mia’s transformation is headed. But inside the movie’s relative simplicity as a narrative are elements worth latching on to, namely Wedler’s compelling depiction of a girl caught in a risky race to outrun her physical destiny through crazy experiences, and Zoë Pastelle Holthuizen’s keenly affecting performance as her cool queen-bee friend Gianna, whose well-submerged vulnerability about belonging becomes starkly exposed alongside Mia’s outsider magnetism.
As push-pull friendships in churning waters go, Mia’s and Gianna’s is the visceral heart of Brühlmann’s film, which otherwise isn’t the greatest mix of teen angst and body horror you’re likely to see, but also nowhere near the worst.
‘Blue My Mind’
In Swiss German with English subtitles
Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes
Playing: Starts Friday, Laemmle Glendale; also on VOD