The second film adaptation of the popular musical play Laivan kannella can be called a typical musical in both good and bad. The plot is just as silly as expected: a beautiful Spanish girl (Raili Mäki) sneaks in the ship of Finnish sailors while disguised as a boy, hoping to get to Finland in order to find her long lost father. Of course, her less than convincing appearance and behaviour cause amusement among the cheery crew, particularly a younger seaman Arvi (Matti Ranin) and the scheming first mate (Tommi Rinne). Curiously, the ship's grumpy captain (Matti Aulos) is also looking for his long lost daughter...
The plot may very predictable, but it is obvious from the beginning that the main attractions are the musical numbers and the lovable performances by the gruff-looking cast. The songs, both upbeat and wistful ones, are catchy and guaranteed to entertain fans of old-fashioned musicals. The adorable star Raili Mäki is also a joy to the eye. Of the many crew members, the funniest lines have been given to Oke Tuuri who gets to roam freely in the role of Puosu, the ship's fun-loving boatswain. Matti Ranin is his usual charismatic self, even in a lightweight role like this one.
The authentic sailing ship and nautical scenery provide an unusual setting for a Finnish movie, which helps the story to feel entertaining even though the jokes are hardly top-notch. Personally I've always had a soft spot for gleeful musicals like this one, so I'm willing to forgive many of its flaws and recommend it to fans of the genre. It is totally featherweight – just the way we like it.
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