While people were out saying film is dead and the summer was dissapointing, it seems as if everyone’s eyes were centered on the big summer blockbusters and not those brilliant indie gems that came and went all summer long. Being released early summer, The Fits is a great look at what it means to fit in that way too many people missed. Following a tomboy simply searching to fit in among girls her age, The Fits touches on self-expression and if its worth going to certain extents simply to fit in. While the example here is of course much more dramatic and involves several girls undergoing troubling fits to be able to fit in, The Fits is a film that resonates with outsiders, hazing, and so many groups of people that its a wonder why so many people ignored it.
From its opening shots, The Fits has a hypnotic vision of a close reality. You identify Toni doing exercise in a gym and people boxing in the background but because of some great cinematography the world seems off-balance and mystical. To best describe The Fits I would categorize it as an urban fantasy. While the world we see is the most common and through the lenses it presents pure normality, there’s something about the world always looking grey, the fact that we’re always encountering the same people and the unknown source of the fits that makes the world feel otherworldly whilst remaining real. Its an odd feeling, the feeling of something being so normal and mundane that it begins to take on mystical qualities of its own.
Besides its enchanting quality, The Fits is first and foremost a coming of age tale that analyzes to what extent we may go in order to fit in. Here is where it does its magic in having Royalty Hightower give a great natural performance that we feel empathy towards and grounds us in a world where people are having these metaphysical fits. Hightower proves to be a star as she is engaging, relatable and demonstrates authority through facial expressions. She also serves as a perfect vessel to understand the metaphorical layers Anna Rose Holmer has inserted all throughout The Fits.
The Fits is one of the great films of this year. It carries profound power about inclusion and identity with it whilst also working magnificently in every technical aspect of a film. The Fits is a beautiful interpretation of modern magic realism that far too many people missed even though it deals with concepts we all know and it will most likely hypnotize you under its mesmerizing vision.