The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or ... See full summary »
Lugubrious Finns Valto and Reino take to the road in search of coffee and vodka, without which their lives are not worth living. But their reveries are interrupted by the arrival of ... See full summary »
Iris has a dead-end job in a match-factory, lives with her dour and forbidding parents, and her social life is a disaster. But when she is made pregnant after a one-night stand by a man who... See full summary »
After fifteen years' service, Henri Boulanger is made redundant from his job. Shocked, he attempts suicide, but can't go through with it, so he hires a contract killer in a seedy bar to ... See full summary »
A bizarre black-and-white film noir reworking of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. After the death of his father, young Hamlet inherits a seat on the board of a company controlled by his uncle that ... See full summary »
Tram driver Lauri loses his job. Shortly later, the restaurant where his wife Ilona works as a head waitress is closed. Too proud to receive money from the social welfare system, they strive to find new jobs. But they are completely unlucky and clumsy, one disaster is followed by the next. Written by
Frank Wallner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I particularly liked Man Without A Past, by the same director, and this is much in the same vein. A couple having financial difficulties tries to make their way. Sounds like all of us. Only this couple delivers delicious witty dialogue in a deadpan style that cracks me up every time. Even their fights and make ups are so understated that it's a style all it's own. Don't look for the obvious here, it's hidden under a layer of Finnish humor so opaque that you have to watch very closely to see even a glimmer of laughter in anyone's eye.
The film is gloomy, depressing, bleak, but somehow it does your heart good. Even when things seem to be at their worst, you can't help but feel that the hardworking and honest couple will manage to somehow get back on solid ground and right with the world. You want them to. You need them to. They simply must, or your poor little heart will break.
It's hard to describe this film because nothing much seems to happen, there are only the normal setbacks of life in the low income zone, but by the end you realize that you've seen a great movie and are happy with it. What helps keep you interested are the dialogue and the understated style. For example, why do all the men wear their hair the same way? Does anyone own clothes that aren't drab? Why does all the furniture look like it's from the 1950's? All these questions and more will occur to you while watching the film and wondering if anyone will ever crack a smile.
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