This may be the beginning of my obsession over Sophia Coppola. I could watch 'The Virgin Suicides' over and over again. Well, I'm still a teenager (for two more months), the movie is about teenagers, so I'm justified... No, it doesn't work that way. This movie doesn't have a typical storyline about growing up, falling in love etc. It tells the story of five sisters, who, one by one, commit suicide. Interesting fact: there is no plot twist. We know from the very beginning that they're going to end that way. A kind narrator informs us about that with a sorrowful voice. After each sister is introduced, we are invited to take part in a journey with teenage boys from the neighbourhood, who are fascinated by them and don't seem to get them out of their minds. They try to solve girls' mystery and help them escape the prison which their house was, intentionally or not, turned into by their strict, overprotective parents.
I can't help but say that the movie is quite naive. But it's only because the narration is held by teenage boys who have just experienced their first love and confusion which is inevitable when it comes to These girls.
There are moments in the movie when you may think that everything's going to be all right. Boys prepare for the party in girls' house, then for the prom and finally for a secret meeting... But each time something goes wrong. Rare seconds of joy are surrounded by long breaks full of saddness. It ain't no picture perfect.
It's no wonder that the boys from the neighbourhood are clean as a whistle. They just try to save their dream from turning into a nightmare. They've idealised the girls for so long that they have no idea who they really are. Lisbon sisters in their minds have turned into trapped princesses and they are convinced they are the ones to rescue them.
They seem to ask themselves the following question over and over again: 'Can you prevent someone from the mishap when they're slipping through your fingers?'. Unfortunately the answer in their case is rather unsatisfactory...
The opening scene
We knew the girls were really women in disguise, that they understood love, and even death...
We would never be sure of the sequence of events. We argue about it still.
Collecting everything we could of theirs, the Lisbon girls wouldn't leave our minds but they were slipping away. The color of their eyes was fading along with the exact locations... of moles and dimples. From five, they had become four, and they were all the living and the dead, becoming shadows. We would have lost them completely if the girls hadn't contacted us.
...a clock ticking on a wall, a room dim at noon, and the outrageousness of a human being thinking only of herself.
So much has been said about the girls over the years. But we have never found an answer. It didn't matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls... but only that we had loved them... and that they hadn't heard us calling... still do not hear us calling them from out of those rooms... where they went to be alone for all time... and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together.
Air 'The Virgin Suicides' (album)