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Perpetually bothered by stage-fright, singer Rauli "Badding" Somerjoki runs away from a gig in Helsinki. One of his old friends is sent to do a story on him for a newspaper, and they travel to their former home village in the country. The characters' interaction and memories illustrate the singer's life and feelings. Written by
Mikael Halila <email@example.com>
Rauli "Badding" Somerjoki (1948-1987) is obviously of no importance internationally, but for Finns he is one of the most beloved rock/pop musicians of all time. As so many other celebrated musicians, he lived a slightly controversial life. Alcohol, depression and lack of self-esteem practically destroyed the last years of his career.
In the Finnish films industry the trend of the first years of the new millennium has been making movies of national heroes, like Jean Sibelius. Most of them are of mediocre quality, really providing nothing new on the subject. There are two exceptions, "Aleksis Kiven elämä" and Badding. I'm saying this because I think movies like these should provide something more than a documentary. These two films do.
This film tells one story of Badding. It is not even trying to stick to reality. Many of the things happening in the movie never actually happened in any form. Does it really matter? Badding was a musician, his importance is in his music, not his life. As the movie includes many of his best songs, the movie must really follow the way of the music, not reality. Maybe some of the people who actually knew Badding might feel that this kind of method is dishonest, but I can't see that as a problem, as long as the movie doesn't have some disrespectful purposes, like some political issues etc. But here Badding is presented as a musician, an ordinary but talented man, and nothing else.
So Markku Pölönen took some of Baddings's music and his personality, an actor that looks ridiculously lot like Badding and made up a nice, warm-hearted story around this. It is not a great masterpiece of art, but it works. The audience is kept satisfied by playing some Badding classics, it doesn't need anything spectacular.
And the story is not that bad either. I admit it is not that original, but I still think it is realistic in a way. I like the spirit, one just has to remember that this is just entertainment. 7/10
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