The earlier Kalle Päätalo film adaptations were directed by Edvin Laine in the 1970s and he still had pre-emption rights for the other novels by Päätalo. Laine waved them when he heard that Mikko Niskanen was interested on directing. See more »
This movie takes us to 1920's in Northern Finland.There a boy called Kalle Päätalo, who grew up to be a writer, lives with his family.They spend their lives in total poverty, so Kalle has to start working at a young age.Elämän Vonkamies (1986) is the second last movie of Mikko Niskanen (1929-1990).It's based on the novel series Juuret Iijoen Törmässä by Kalle Päätalo.Niskanen knew a lot about the life Kalle describes in his books.Mikko, who also grew in the country, had to work hard.Kalle Päätalo is played by two boys.Teuvo Remes plays Kalle at age 7 and Tapio Remes is Kalle at 13.Very good job from both of them.Martti Kainulainen does excellent work as Hermanni Päätalo.Pirjo Leppänen is terrific as Riitu Päätalo.Matti Tuominen is amazing as Hiltu-Jakki.Timo Pylkkänen is great as Arvi.Great job by Aale Mantila, who plays Korpelan Isäntä, or Satusetä.I just saw this movie on Christmas Eve.Before that I had seen it in early 2008 and sometime in the 90's.It's a very well made movie of Päätalo's life as a child.It can be funny at some points.I especially liked the oven building episode.The oven man's slowness makes Hermanni Päätalo curse quite a bit.And listening to Hiltu-Jakki makes you chuckle.And it can be also dramatic, which comes up in the poverty of this family, the hardship in life.And also the approaching mental illness of father Herkko.This is a very realistic portrayal of one boy's life.
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