M arrives in Helsinki only to be viciously attacked by thugs and pronounced dead by medics. He revives but with no memory of his past or his identity. He rebuilds his life from scratch, but the past inevitably catches up with him.
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.
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 »
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 »
Khaled, syrian refugee stows away on a freighter to Helsinki. Meanwhile, Wikström is a traveling salesman who wins big at a poker table and buys himself a restaurant with the proceeds. When the authorities turn down his application for asylum, Khaled is forced underground and Wikström finds him sleeping in the yard behind his restaurant. He offers him a job and a roof over his head and, for a while, they form a Utopian union with the restaurant's waitress, the chef and his dog.Written by
Remember the pretty boy Ronan Keating singing that you say it best when you say nothing at all? Of course you don't, you only listen to good music. But this could be the very motto of Finnish legendary moviemaker Aki Kaurismäki's latest. This minimalist masterpiece is so achingly simple and elegant and yet so complex in a good way, that there's no really good way to describe it, if you don't understand Kaurismäki's style already. Toivon tuolla puolen" (The Other Side of Hope" in English, Teispool lootust" in Estonian") is like a haiku: it can convey so much with so little words and even so little action. I can't find fitting comparisions here, but Kaurismäki comes across like Jim Jarmusch's less snobish cousin: even more concentrated on what it's like to be human and small things that life is actually made of. They both value storytelling through details but Kaurismäki's approach is more mainstreamfriendly: you don't have to invest yourself fully all the time to make sense of what's going on exactly. Toivon tuolla puolen" offers two bittersweet stories interwining, about refugee in strange and hostile land and old entrepreneur who leaves his wife and finds fresh start in running a diner. It often feels like comedy – Kaurismäki's approach could be called Finnish version of Soviet nostalgia that many 30-year or older viewers will respond to and enjoy. Judging by Estonian premiere, it's a real crowdpleaser. But deeper down it's more about bleak and sad side of human existence: loneliness, being unwanted, trying to find purpose when everything has fallen down. And, of course, about how there's no winning with nowadays' refugee crisis – it brings suffering for everyone involved, except for maybe those who like to attack people who shouldn't be here". I give this quietly hilarious and heartbreaking masterpiece a near- perfect score. Although it doesn't break new grounds for Kaurismäki, I can't think of a way how it could be improved in any meaningful way. The movie's not gonna satisfy everybody, nothing will, but it's almost perfect the way it is. Deceptively simple but powerful experience that you can't imagine getting from anybody else than Kaurismäki.
20 of 34 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this