MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 810 this week

Shadows in Paradise (1986)
"Varjoja paratiisissa" (original title)

7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,647 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 22 critic

An episode in the life of Nikander, a garbage man, involving the death of a coworker, a love affair and much more.

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

IMDb Picks: June

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in June, brought to you by Swiffer.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 48 titles
created 01 Jan 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 23 Oct 2013
 
a list of 37 titles
created 20 Dec 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 06 Jan 2014
 
a list of 32 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Shadows in Paradise (1986)

Shadows in Paradise (1986) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Shadows in Paradise.
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Worthless (1982)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A criminal, his friend and his former girlfriend find their lives intertwining with each other.

Director: Mika Kaurismäki
Stars: Matti Pellonpää, Pirkko Hämäläinen, Juuso Hirvikangas
Le Havre (2011)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When an African boy arrives by cargo ship in the port city of Le Havre, an aging shoe shiner takes pity on the child and welcomes him into his home.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: André Wilms, Blondin Miguel, Jean-Pierre Darroussin
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Antti "Zombie" Autiomaa does two things well: play the bass guitar and drink. After several months' sleeping on the streets of Istanbul, he returns to Helsinki where he's called into the ... See full summary »

Director: Mika Kaurismäki
Stars: Silu Seppälä, Marjo Leinonen, Matti Pellonpää
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A 57 minute documentary of a Helsinki concert featuring the Leningrad Cowboys and the Alexandrov Red Army Choir and Ballet, who collaborate on a number of US Rock songs sung in English (... See full summary »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Alexandrov Red Army Ensemble, Atte Blom, Twist-Twist Erkinharju
Ariel (1988)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The movie tells the story of Taisto Kasurinen, a finnish coal miner whose father has just committed suicide and who is framed for a crime he did not commit. In jail, he starts to dream ... See full summary »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Turo Pajala, Susanna Haavisto, Matti Pellonpää
Rosso (1985)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Giancarlo Rosso, a Sicilian hit man, gets a job to kill someone in Finland. His new target is Maria. Rosso arrives in Helsinki, buys weapons, and comes in hers apartment. After seeing that ... See full summary »

Director: Mika Kaurismäki
Stars: Kari Väänänen, Martti Syrjä, Leena Harjupatana
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Iris has a dead-end job in a match-factory, lives with her dour and forbidding parents, and her social life is a disaster. But when she is made pregnant after a one-night stand by a man who... See full summary »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Kati Outinen, Elina Salo, Esko Nikkari
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

During a military raid to rescue in Iraq, Max Forrester's teammate and girlfriend Sasha, disappears mysteriously. Two years later, Max, who has since retired from the army receives a call ... See full summary »

Director: J. Stephen Maunder
Stars: Mark Dacascos, Armand Assante, Tom Sizemore
Rocky VI (1986)
Short | Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Definitely not to be confused with any of Sylvester Stallone's efforts, this is a wicked satire on 'Rocky IV', in which Rocky takes on the monolithic Russian fighter Igor - and loses. ... See full summary »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Silu Seppälä, Sakari Kuosmanen, Heinäsirkka
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A documentary of three Finnish bands on tour around lake Saimaa. Bands on boat are Hassisen Kone, Eppu Normaali and Juice Leskinen Slam.

Directors: Aki Kaurismäki, Mika Kaurismäki
Stars: Ismo Alanko, Reijo Heiskanen, Jussi Kinnunen
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Two foreigners, Yerks and Cony, travel to Spain to fulfill their dream. But soon they will realize that this country is not what they expected... It will rather become their worst nightmare... See full summary »

Director: Yerko Espinoza
Stars: Laura Buitrago, Yerko Espinoza, Piero Olmedo
Likaiset kädet (TV Movie 1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Sulevi Peltola, Matti Pellonpää, Kati Outinen
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matti Pellonpää ...
Nikander
...
Sakari Kuosmanen ...
Esko Nikkari ...
Co-worker (työkaveri)
Kylli Köngäs ...
Ilona's Girlfriend (ystävätär)
Pekka Laiho ...
Shop Steward (myymälänhoitaja)
Jukka-Pekka Palo ...
Third Man (kolmasmies)
Svante Korkiakoski ...
Police (poliisi)
Mari Rantasila ...
Nikander's Sister (Nikanderin sisar)
Safka Pekkonen ...
Pianist (pianisti) (as Safka)
Antti Ortamo ...
2nd pianist (pianisti II)
Mato Valtonen ...
Pelle (as Markku Valtonen)
Sakke Järvenpää ...
Staffan (as Sakari Järvenpää)
Ulla Kuosmanen ...
Melartin's wife (Melartinin vaimo)
Neka Haapanen ...
Cook (kokki)
Edit

Storyline

Only connect. In gray, class-conscious Helsinki, Nikander is a stoic, solitary garbage man. Cigarettes, coffee, bingo games, and English lessons border his circumscribed life. There are few words, no smiles, and no laughter. Violence and the threat of violence seem close at hand. Ilona, a supermarket clerk who frequently loses her job, bandages Nikander's hand one evening; later he gets her out of a jam, and they begin an on-again off-again relationship. "Why do I keep losing?," Nikander asks his co-worker, Melartin, a man Nikander met in jail and helped get a job. Can he break his losing streak? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

17 October 1986 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Shadows in Paradise  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Towards the end, there's a scene where Nikander's friend talks about a problematic fellow worker named Mikkonen. Matti Pellonpää, who plays Nikander here, would later play Mikkonen in Ariel (1988), the second part of the Proletariat trilogy directed by Aki Kaurismäki. See more »

Goofs

When Nikander and Ilona leave the gas station and ride down the road, they pass a white car. The white car is standing still in the middle of the road. Presumably they drove so fast that they passed the white car, but it stands still. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Nikander: Friday!
Co-worker: [co-worker is offering Nikander a drink] You want?
Nikander: I'm driving.
Co-worker: Listen, Nikander. We've been a team quite a while. But I've been doing this for 25 years. I'm getting tired and so is my heart.
Nikander: What's the matter with it?
Co-worker: What ever.
Co-worker: I've got an idea - my own company. Five trucks to start with...
Nikander: What does it end?
Co-worker: The sky is the limit. The state and the banks will back us. I know everything about this game, but I'm not going to die behind the wheel.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in I Am Curious, Film (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Tremble
Written by Albert Collins
Performed by Albert Collins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A beautiful example of minimalism.
22 September 2006 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

After a stunning debut, Crime and Punishment, and a bizarre, experimental second feature, Calamari Union, Aki Kaurismäki began doing what he's best at: telling the stories of Finnish underdogs'everyday experiences. And it all started with Shadows in Paradise, the first installment of the "workers trilogy" (continued with Ariel and The Match Factory Girl), and arguably Kaurismäki's finest film (at least until he made The Man Without a Past). It also marked his first collaboration with Kati Outinen, who has become the very symbol, alongside the late Matti Pellonpää, of Kaurismäki's cinema.

Fittingly, Pellonpää and Outinen are the leading couple of shadows in Paradise. He reprises the role of Nikander he previously played in Crime and Punishment, with more English lessons (which originate his best line, at the end of the film) and trouble at work: his plans to start his own business get buried with his associate (Esko Nikkari), who commits suicide five minutes into the movie. While looking for a new job, he meets Ilona (Outinen), who works as a cashier in a Helsinki supermarket. The two start hanging out, eventually forming a sweet, if platonic, bond, occasionally threatened by Nikander's apparent cynicism.

The film's magic resides entirely in its minimalism: little dialogue, sober settings, raw, Finnish humor, real, likable characters and no overacting, as Kaurismäki tells his simple, universal, incredibly touching love story. Pellonpää and Outinen's understated, affecting performances complete each other, with valuable support from Sakari Kuosmanen as Melartin, Nikander's best friend, who even steals from his own daughter to finance his buddy's dates. Not that his behavior is exemplary, but it shows how much these people care for each other, and that's where Kaurismäki succeeds: he makes us emphasize with these characters despite their many flaws, and delivers an astounding, memorable picture.

A true masterpiece of Finnish film-making, from the best director that country has ever spawned.


30 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Great movie cris2d2
Discuss Shadows in Paradise (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?