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City Unplugged (1993)
"Tallinn pimeduses" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 319 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 3 critic

In August, 1991, Estonia reclaims its independence from the USSR and brings to its national bank nearly $1 billion in gold bullion hidden in Paris for 50 years. Russian mobsters have a bold... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ivo Uukkivi ...
Toivo
Milena Gulbe ...
Maria
Monika Mäger ...
Terje
Enn Klooren ...
Mihhail
Väino Laes ...
Andres (as Väinö Laes)
Peeter Oja ...
Dimitri
Jüri Järvet ...
Anton
Villem Indrikson ...
Kallas
Andres Raag ...
Contreras, Gerardo
Martin Tulmin
Kadri Kilvet ...
Nurse
Salme Poopuu ...
Nurse (as Salme Soopuu)
Ulvi Kreitsmann ...
Nurse
Aleksander Kortava
Tõnu Kark
Edit

Storyline

In August, 1991, Estonia reclaims its independence from the USSR and brings to its national bank nearly $1 billion in gold bullion hidden in Paris for 50 years. Russian mobsters have a bold plan to hijack the gold after shutting down the capital's power at midnight. For this they need Toivo, an electrical technician. His wife is pregnant and she urges him to take the job ("$5000 buys lots of baby food"). After Toivo leaves for the plant, his wife goes into labor. Birth and blackout happen simultaneously; the baby needs an incubator, but there's no power. Jealousies within the Mob undercut the plan's smooth operation, and soon the Mob has Toivo to deal with as well. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Thriller

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Details

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Release Date:

23 June 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

City Unplugged  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Was the first Estonian feature-film made after its independence. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Murderous gold heist unfolds within an ironic look at post-Soviet Tallinn
12 July 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Either title, "City Unplugged" or "Darkness in Tallinn", accurately heralds "Tallinn Pimeduses" (1993), a very good serio-comic neo-noir set in Tallinn, Estonia after the Soviet Union dissolved and Estonia became an independent state. The nation and country had always maintained identity as Estonia but the state had growing pains, shown ironically along with everything else in Tallinn birth, life and death at that time. There's no shortage of targets for the irony, from the birth of a baby to a gold shipment to a cigarette factory to a disparate band of robbers who plunge Tallinn into darkness in order to effect a massive robbery of Estonia's gold, a symbol of the new nation's state. What would a state be without its own money and central bank? (Irony: It might be Greece or in the Euro area (Estonia joined in 2011).) The movie runs 99 minutes, 80 of which are in black and white. This includes the heist, and this provides a perfect opportunity for oodles of noir cinematography. Indeed, some scenes are so dark that you have to decipher the action. When the city's electricity is restored, the film becomes color for the climactic scenes and resolution.

The gang is some sort of old-line gang with large aspirations. The leadership scepter is ceremoniously passed on from an older guy to a younger but still middle-aged guy. I won't attempt to match the names and the actors in this review. They are all very capable. The characters are well-drawn, the situations quite funny. Tensions and character portraits within the gang provide much dark humor. A woman in childbirth who thinks her husband has died sets the amazing scene for the doctors and nurses in a darkened hospital. A young girl with a bike connects the electrician induced into the robbery with his pregnant wife's travail. No opportunities for irony and comic surprises are overlooked while easily maintaining the movie's balance as well as any classic Alec Guinness movie like "The Lavender Hill Mob".


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