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In the punk rock era of the late 1970s three restless teenagers, two boys and a girl, spend their time in and out of a special class for problem kids. Jussi seldom sees his parents at home, so he is free to indulge in petty crimes, pranks, and getting drunk with his friend Pete. Jussi falls in love with equally rebellious classmate Lissu (Aki Kaurismäki's favourite actress Kati Outinen in her debut role), but the lovers' plan to run away together fails dramatically. Written by
You had to be there to really get it, I suppose...
As a Finnish and Helsinki citizen I find this movie to be one of the best Finnish movies ever. I'd label it as "Finnish Neo-realism" if there ever was such a genre, because it represents the early-80s Helsinki in such a realistic way that it is almost part documentary. I was a kid in Helsinki those days, and I remember my city like it was in the picture. Cold, hostile and full of concrete:)
I like the way this movie is shot, it's not trying to be cool or "right" looking all the time. I guess Tapio Suominen worked with a minimum crew on the streets of Helsinki. Partly due to fact that Finnish cinema was going downhills fast (or was already in the bottom) and there was no money to spend around, but also because it worked well with the DIY-punk attitude of movie and the look. I love the way this movie looks. It looks very much like the early 80s were in Finland, sort of DDR-grey, dull and pale.
I just LOVE the way the characters speak in this movie, how they act and behave. I'm not sure what "tarkkailuluokka" is in English (sort of special class for disturbed and antisocial youth, who can't cope with normal classes in school), but like the attitude was in those days and in this movie, the kids who were in "tarkkailuluokka" were thought to be destined for criminal / jail career. The kids in this movie are very much like those in my youth. Of course there are reasons for this behavior, kids' parents drinking, not being there for the kid etc. Problems that are universal. It's a story of a young soul, who eventually will be killed in the process, because there is no place for dreamers.
Director Kaurismäki found his trusted actress Kati Outinen from this movie, in her first major movie role, and she was as wonderful as ever.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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