An old dog has a hard time learning new tricks in this drama set in Turku. Ari, a paramedic, is a chronic womanizer; he makes it a point of pride to never sleep with the same woman twice, and his nights are a long series of brazen one-night stands. But when Ari meets Tiina (Laura Malmivaara), something unexpected happens – he falls in love. For the first time, Ari finds himself pursuing a long-term relationship, and he makes a genuine effort to remain faithful to her. But old habits die hard; Tiina introduces Ari to her circle of friends and temptation arises as he encounters Hanna-Riikka, a theology student, and Ilona, who is soon to be married. Despite Ari’s feelings for Tiina, he begins having affairs with both Hanna-Riikka and Ilona, leading to an unpleasant revelation on the day of Ilona’s nuptials.
A few weeks after this film was released, I had the opportunity to see it in Finland. Although it was subtitled and I don’t speak very fluent Finnish, my Finnish friend, Kaisa, only had to translate a few questionable parts. I was very impressed with the quality of acting, directing, and cinematography. It appeared very equivocal to our lustrious Hollywood films. As I was visiting Helsinki in March, it was thrilling to see how Finland looked in the summer.
Being a typical “prude” American in regards to showing televised nudity, I was a little surprised at the extent of the sexual scenes. Luckily, I was introduced to Finland’s policy regarding nudity before I saw this film. (Ever been to a public sauna in Helsinki?)
Even without the details of the dialogue, I greatly enjoyed the story. Kaisa told me that this film remains very controversial in Finland as some scenes give a poor portrayal of Finland’s modern culture. The main racey scenes included: The bar scene showing Finnish women as VERY forward, and nothing short of…well..sluts; several scenes portraying adultery as morally justified; the bachelor party that ends up an orgy with two VERY young girls (maybe 12?); and the fact that the main character ends up with a female priest that cheats on her boyfriend!! Nevertheless, I think it did a good job portraying the loneliness 20-something individuals feel, even when they are “with” others. I think Mikko Nousianinen (II), Ari, did a great job portraying the mixture of emotional feelings in his position…his several positions.
In closing, I would like to say that this movie accomplished what it wanted to, and I will not hesitate to purchase a copy when it becomes available. Does anyone know when that is? Because I would really like to see this movie in an English subtitled version.
Director: Aku Louhimies
Writers: Aleksi Bardy (screenplay), Aku Louhimies (original story), Albert Camus (novel L’Étranger)
Stars: Mikko Nousiainen, Laura Malmivaara, Petteri Summanen
Country of origin: Finland
Also known as: Restless
Filming locations: Turku, Finland
Format : MPEG-4
Format profile : Base Media
Codec ID : isom (isom/iso2/avc1/mp41)
File size : 1.49 GiB
Duration : 1 h 45 min
Overall bit rate : 2 026 kb/s