7.1/10
490
2 user 2 critic

The Liar (1981)

Valehtelija (original title)
Talkative, hyperactive young drifter Ville Alfa goes around Helsinki, basically trying to borrow money from friends and strangers by means of an incessant delivery of quirky and snappy quasi-intellectual lines and fabricated excuses.

Director:

Mika Kaurismäki
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Worthless (1982)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A criminal, his friend and his former girlfriend find their lives intertwining with each other.

Director: Mika Kaurismäki
Stars: Matti Pellonpää, Pirkko Hämäläinen, Juuso Hirvikangas
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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 »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Margi Clarke, Kenneth Colley
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An exodus to a better life in Eira

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Timo Eränkö, Kari Heiskanen, Asmo Hurula
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Three struggling artists try to make passable livings in Paris despite knock backs and tragedies.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Matti Pellonpää, Evelyne Didi, André Wilms
Ariel (1988)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Finnish man goes to the city to find a job after the mine where he worked is closed and his father commits suicide.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Turo Pajala, Susanna Haavisto, Matti Pellonpää
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A woman's terribly dull life is upended by a one-night stand pregnancy, causing her to seek retribution.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Kati Outinen, Elina Salo, Esko Nikkari
Juha (1999)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A farmer's wife is seduced into running away from her stolid older husband by a city slicker, who enslaves her in a brothel.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Sakari Kuosmanen, Kati Outinen, André Wilms
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen, Annikki Tähti
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A newly wed woman goes to the local shaman to get some help with her lovelife, but instead gets turned into a white reindeer vampire.

Director: Erik Blomberg
Stars: Mirjami Kuosmanen, Kalervo Nissilä, Åke Lindman
Adventure | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The Cowboys are lured from Mexico to Coney Island by their former manager who disappeared at the end of Leningrad Cowboys Go America. He believes he is the reincarnation of Moses, sent to lead them back to the promised land - Siberia.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Twist-Twist Erkinharju, Ben Granfelt, Sakke Järvenpää
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A ski jumper descends from winning 4 Olympic Gold Medals, to serving two years for stabbing a relative. Careers as a stripper and singer, plus five marriages, replete with allegations of ... See full summary »

Director: Aleksi Mäkelä
Stars: Jasper Pääkkönen, Elina Hietala, Juha Veijonen
Road North (2012)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A father who was absent for 30 years of his son's life returns and wants to bond with his son, on a road trip to the north.

Director: Mika Kaurismäki
Stars: Vesa-Matti Loiri, Samuli Edelmann, Leena Uotila
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aki Kaurismäki ... Ville Alfa
Pirkko Hämäläinen Pirkko Hämäläinen ... Tuula
Juuso Hirvikangas ... Juuso
Lars Lindberg Lars Lindberg ... Harri
Esa Sirkkunen Esa Sirkkunen ... Olli
Jukka Järvelä Jukka Järvelä ... Man at Bar Counter
Marja Heiskanen Marja Heiskanen ... Kiosk Vendor
Matti Pellonpää ... Friend of Chandler
Mikko Mattila Mikko Mattila ... Friend of Hemingway
Taina Nyström Taina Nyström ... Girl in Pavement Café
Eija Vilpas Eija Vilpas ... Woman at Bar Counter
Toni Sulzbeck Toni Sulzbeck ... Bum
Juhani Tommola Juhani Tommola ... Doorman
Reino Markkanen Reino Markkanen
Paula Kaurismäki Paula Kaurismäki
Edit

Storyline

Talkative, hyperactive young drifter Ville Alfa goes around Helsinki, basically trying to borrow money from friends and strangers by means of an incessant delivery of quirky and snappy quasi-intellectual lines and fabricated excuses.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Finland | West Germany

Language:

Finnish

Release Date:

28 February 1981 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Lügner See more »

Filming Locations:

Helsinki, Finland

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Ville Alfa: I would claim that the promised land for modern existentialism is finland.
See more »

Connections

Features Band of Outsiders (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Mies joka rakastaa itseään
Written by Juice Leskinen
Performed by Juice Leskinen & Slam
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Nordic recognition to French cinema
31 January 2009 | by lefaikoneSee all my reviews

I remember reading from a movie preview that after Valehtelija was premiered at the Tampere film festival in 1981, "everyone there knew, that it was something significant, and that it was the start for something big". Well it sure was. It was the beginning of a new era in Finnish film making. Kaurismäki brothers (especially Aki) have achieved a status of national icons in Finnish film making over the past years, and not for in vain.

Valehtelija is still more than just a milestone in Finnish history. it's a brilliant picture. It's funny, skillfully filmed, and the dialogue is Aki at his best. The story is about a pathological liar, who's circle of friends contains of sad young men who think they're some kind intelligentsia. The liar "Ville Alfa" played by Aki Kaurismäki is in deep self-deception and thinks very high of himself as a misunderstood artist. Along the way most of his friends discover the reality behind his mysterious and exciting emotional shell, and time to time Ville is having some tough times believing in it even himself.

Aki is known to be a fan of French cinema, and it can be seen on Valehtelija also. It's not just the style of movie-making, but the whole movie is clearly a loose rewrite of Jean Eustache's La maman et la putain (The mother and the whore), it has the same theme, the dialogue is done in a very similar way, and the main character is conspicuously similar with Ville Alfa. Although Valehtelija is a lot better. La maman et la putain lasts 220 minutes and Valehtelija lasts only 53 minutes, and it still has managed to get a lot more from the same subject.

Aki later made another picture in 1992 - La Vie de bohème (Bohemian life) which is also based on the same self deception and pathological lying- theme, but it's even better than Valehtelija. It also comes clear that it's no secret that Aki was inspired by Jean Eustache, since Jean-Pierre Léaud, whom was the main part actor in La maman et la putain, is in the cast of La Vie de bohème.

If you have seen any of these tree films mentioned above, or if they even have caught your interest, I strongly suggest you to watch them all, or at least Valehtelija and La Vie de bohème. They are a great combination of poetic French- and melancholic Finnish storytelling.


13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed