A film by Aki Kaurismäki
Cast: Ville Virtanen, Kati Outinen, Tommi Korpela
Helsinki. Two destinies that will cross each other. Wikhström, in the fifties, decides to change his life by leaving his alcoholic wife and his work as a sales representative to open a restaurant. Khaled is a young Syrian refugee, stranded in the capital by accident. He sees his asylum application rejected but decides to stay despite everything. One night, Wikhström finds him in the courtyard of his restaurant. Touched by the young man, he decides to take him under his wing.
Here is a narrative of crossing paths, an apology for a rare optimism. Finnish director and writer Aki Kaurismäki, not happy with the way refugees are seen and portrayed in today’s society, created a story almost like an apology and an attempt to manipulate your emotions. How is it possible to change one’s behavior or the way people think, however, is subject to never-ending discussions.
Khaled (Syrian actor Sherwan Haji) goes to Finland on a cargo ship. The circumstances surrounding his arrival are not yet fully unknown that is what I like here. After taking a shower he goes to the police station and seek Asylum. What I like is that they take his fingerprint on a digital machine that will stream to the laptop as the police officer does the report he types it on a type writer too funny. Some how after escaping the war he part ways with his sister with all of the chaos that is going on he gets arrested and thrown in jail. While he waits for the bureaucracy to kick in he is trying to find a way to find his sister only to end up later by the garbage can of a restaurant where the owner can’t help himself to help him.
Although set in this day and age, the story looks, like and feels like in is stuck in the 60’s 70’s maybe a stroke of genius from the director. With it bold design and colour the viewer is going to feel like they are in an other dimension welcome to the twilight zone. This dramatic comedy has a life of its own with nonsensical lines are delivered with the straightest of faces in to navigated in such a way that it keep the dignity of the characters. Like I said pure genius here and yes an other successful film here. A series of local artists perform songs that merge blues and tango with local sounds an interesting concepts here that makes this film unique. I am telling you now do not miss this film directed with this unique director, I’ll say it again it is pure genius.