November 12, 2010

Scandinavian Film Festival - Day 7 - Tears of April & The house of branching love

Day seven of the festival. One of the most interesting days at the festival, I saw two great movies a drama and a comedy. I really spent a great film at the cinema.

Director: Aku Louhimies
Cast: Samuli Vauramo, Pihla Viitala, Eero Aho, Mikko Kouki
Writers: Leena Lander (novel), Jari Rantala (screenplay)
Music: Pessi Levanto
Production: Finland, German, Greece, 2008
Release Date: 29 August 2008 (Finland)
Runtime: 110 Minutes
Original Name: Käsky
IMDB Link: Tears of April
Trailer: Tears of April

The movie takes in Finland during the civil war in 1918. The division of Miina Malin, a young “red” soldier, is capture by “whites” soldiers. Because they were all women they take them to their bunker and during the night rape them, the next day the commander decides to execute the entire women. After the shootout, Aaro Harjula, a white soldier discovers that Miina had survived to the massacre. He decides to take her to court, as she was a POW (Prisoner of War). After a short journey, they will become closer. The main stage from the drama develop will take place at the mansion of the Judge.

I really didn’t knew what to expect from this movie, I didn’t saw the trailer or read anything before seen it. However, I could sense that this was going to be good. The performance of the main actors outstanding, it’s very easy to relate to the characters as they aren’t good or bad, they are just humans with their rights and wrongs. I have to remark the excellent job done by Eero Aho, the actor portraying Judge Hallenberg. Ha managed to create this judge who was a talented writer and poet but because of the war, all of his ideology was ruined and now is this cruel and impulsive man. The music is another thing to highlight; string music and dramatic piano music is played throughout the movie.

Director: Mika Kaurismäki
Cast: Elina Knihtilä, Hannu-Pekka Björkman, Anna Easteden, Antti Reini
Writers: Petri Karra (novel), Mika Kaurismäki (screenplay), Sami Keski-Vähälä    (screenplay)
Production: Finland, 2009
Release Date: 21 August 2009 (Finland)
Runtime: 102 Minutes
Original Name: Haarautuvan rakkauden talo
IMDB Link: The house of branching love
Trailer: The house of branching love

The marriage between Juhani, a family therapist and his wife, Tuula, a successful business trainer, is in trouble. They both decided to break up their marriage but due to economical troubles, they must share the house until one of them gets money to move. To made things easy they decide to set up some basic rules so they can live peacefully in the same house. However, things will start to leak, as they will try to drive the other jealous.

Despite the cultural and language gap, all the people were laughing throughout the movie. This is a clear indicator that the movie is great. I can only recall one comedy that made me laugh so hard, “Death at a funeral” (2007). This movie is so different from the usual comedy produced by Hollywood. It manages to entertain the audience without going too far; it doesn’t have easy jokes and body fluids jokes. From the start, this movie is funny; the fact that the main character is a family therapist that is having marriage troubles is hilarious. The plot whist, the ridiculous scenes and the supporting cast made of this movie a very funny and deep comedy.

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