Directed by Kira Richards Hansen
Short film review by Monica Jowett
Danish short film Wayward from director Kira Richards Hansen follows on from her previous short Damn Girl centred round a tomboy who at 14 years old struggles with her position in the group of teenage boys she is friends with, and dealing with becoming a young woman.
Alex (Rosalina Krøyer) is a tomboy on the search for her identity, facing her own challenges and those set by others around her. Despite these changes that are happening, she continues to keep her tomboy appearance and identity, as she finds comfort and familiarity in that side of herself. However, unlike when Alex was younger, the changes she is going through are more obvious and beyond her control.
In the opening scenes of the short film, Alex is hanging out with her friends, carrying on how she wants to and enjoying being a part of their gang. It is clear to see her relationship with them has not changed as they have grown older, she is very much still part of the group and all of them look to her as just another friend as they tease one another and mess about. But Frede, one of the group notices her, once accidentally touches her breast as they play around, which Alex ignores in her desperation to fit in with the guys.
In her determination to fit in and be one of the guys, she angers another boy with her teasing and mocking, so he comes back for revenge on Alex, humiliating her in the process. The journey Alex goes through to hide her humiliation and take back her position as one of the “guys” is difficult as she begins to realise it might not always be the same as she once wanted, due to the changes happening to her body and identity.
Differing from Damn Girl, Wayward gives a glimpse of Alex’s family, her father who lets Alex reign free, and her mother who is the complete opposite of Alex yet wants to be close to her daughter. We see an insight in how these two adults in her life have shaped her identity and how Alex is now making her own choices in becoming who she is.
Hansen once again has captured the youthfulness and the difficulties of growing up and finding out who you are in Wayward. It is a different process for everyone, yet Alex’s story is familiar and moving as we see her struggle and overcome. I really want to see more of her story.