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|Index||12 reviews in total|
I saw this on DVD with English subtitles (my Finnish is very
Levottomat (The Restless) explores what happens when a wild card is introduced into a circle of friends, follow the mirth and merriment as Ari, a young medical doctor, weaves a path of emotional destruction amongst a group of six student friends in Turku.
The period covers a few months in Ari's life: his mother is terminally ill, he is unwilling or unable to make any emotional ties with any of his one night stands, then he meets Tiina... and her friends.
There are many aspects of Finnish life which are seen in this film, the drinking, Juhannus (midsummer), summer cottages, sauna culture etc., young people lacking experience in relationships... all of which are peculiar to the Nordic countries. You also see people in their mid-20s gallivanting around like freshers... Finland is not only a land of the midnight Sun, but also the land of the eternal student.
Be warned, there is a large amount of nudity and sex in this film, which to most people would seem pornographic, really it's not, well not all of it... Finns have a rather unique outlook on the naked body, perhaps due to their Sauna culture.
Well worth watching.
The subject of this film is "ambivalence" to the core - exquisitely
photographed by Mac Ahlberg, excellent ensemble acting led by Mikko
Nousiainen as Ari, well written, witty, and deceptively clever on multiple
levels, sexy, but not exploitive, featuring a kind of existential numbness
to the beauty and meaning of the world spinning around Ari, who, while
extremely attractive and intelligent, just doesn't have a clue about any
sense of values or distinguishing importance about the people in his life,
professionally or personally, whose lives are nearly destroyed by his
self-centered, personally indulgent, yet unsatisfied life style, which
freely allows him to pick up and screw other friend's girl friends without
regard for the disastrous consequences, who lives in a perpetual state of
lovelessness, sex for the sake of sex, so to speak, knowing virtually
nothing about his partners, the less the better, such is the state of his
emotional uninvolvement. The film links his sexual exploration with his
quest for spiritual redemption, which, personally, I found a bit premature,
as a guy like Ari will always be a wandering soul, an existential nomad,
especially when his needs are strangled by so-called mainstream
relationships. This is kind of a MAD MAX with sex rather than cars, as Ari
is wandering through the same wastelands...
I loved the music, and if anyone can turn me on to a soundtrack CD, I found
none available in the states.
This film didn't give easy answers, didn't perform unnecessary underlining and is very voyeuristic in depicting nudity. Levottomat (Restless) is quite an existential film, meaning it in the tradition of Sartre and Camus, and has definitely been influenced by Camus' L'Etranger's main character who is unable to really feel. He has lost passion for life, but still feels sexually immensely excited, and ready to satisfy his carnal desires with any girl who indulges in 'no strings attached' sex. The main character Ari, an emergency physician played by Mikko Nousiainen, has no answers. He seems to live in a nihilistic void and struggles with what is ethical - rights and wrongs relating to human relationships. Because of his infinite craving for sex he sacrifices cozy friendships and messes up the lives of a 'sixsome' of 3 couples.
The film has a lot of sex, and I loved the way the actors plunge into their roles. This film is about 'the meaning of life' or what fuels the life if and when there is no meaning to it. The demarcation between 'meaningless sex' that is only the issue of the people directly involved and sex which is encroaching on some third parties' existence was very interesting. When is it ok to cheat and when is it absolutely unacceptable. Ari only refused from sex once, in the case of his desperate, boozing ambulance driver friend wonderfully portrayed by Samuli Edelman being under threat of being left and his wife implying her willingness to sleep with Ari.
The film was written well by Aleksi Bardy, who is obviously knowledgeable of the lives of 20+ Finnish yuppies in a cross-fire of traditional cultural pressures against individualistic happiness and endless search for pleasure. Irina Bjorklund represents a moralist who's notions of right and wrong come from the scriptures. She battles against the nihilism of modern life with her faith and deals with the 'bigger',philosophical questions of existence. Eventually the priest is the one Ari finds most interesting of his numerous women.
Levottomat is a very interesting movie. Quite unique in every sense, and sometimes steps on the border between drama and softcore porn, even if it doesn't really pass it. I found the acting to be pretty good, and the story is quite intriguing. The main character reminds me a lot of a very close friend of mine, so I couldn't keep from bursting out a laughter at times. Though this doesn't mean the movie was funny as in a comedy. Though it's still got its sad and funny sides in its own way. More like sad stuff, I would say. It's frustrating to see how those girls value their sexual joy more than their friendship. But hey buddy, this is life! :-(
The plot is handled well by the director, but could be a little better. Even a movie with such a "sexy" screenplay could have been deeper. I absolutely fell in love with the priest girl, Irina Björklund. She's very pretty, and is a great actress. And the head actor is really talented.
Levottomat is all in all a pretty good effort, in spite of being slightly commercial. I somehow do not look forward to seeing the sequels, because I have a strong feeling that the commerciality would have to be overly exaggerated if one was to make a sequel of this movie. I hope I get to see the sequels and they prove me wrong. But I have doubts about that.. Levottomat in itself is still good though. And right next door to being a classic due to its unique style.
A few weeks after this film was released, I had the opportunity to see it
Finland. Although it was subtitled and I don't speak very fluent Finnish,
Finnish friend, Kaisa, only had to translate a few questionable parts. I
very impressed with the quality of acting, directing, and cinematography.
appeared very equivocal to our lustrious Hollywood films. As I was visiting
Helsinki in March, it was thrilling to see how Finland looked in the
Being a typical "prude" American in regards to showing televised nudity, I was a little surprised at the extent of the sexual scenes. Luckily, I was introduced to Finland's policy regarding nudity before I saw this film. (Ever been to a public sauna in Helsinki?)
Even without the details of the dialogue, I greatly enjoyed the story. Kaisa told me that this film remains very controversial in Finland as some scenes give a poor portrayal of Finland's modern culture. The main racey scenes included: The bar scene showing Finnish women as VERY forward, and nothing short of...well..sluts; several scenes portraying adultery as morally justified; the bachelor party that ends up an orgy with two VERY young girls (maybe 12?); and the fact that the main character ends up with a female priest that cheats on her boyfriend!! Nevertheless, I think it did a good job portraying the loneliness 20-something individuals feel, even when they are "with" others. I think Mikko Nousianinen (II), Ari, did a great job portraying the mixture of emotional feelings in his position...his several positions.
In closing, I would like to say that this movie accomplished what it wanted to, and I will not hesitate to purchase a copy when it becomes available. Does anyone know when that is? Because I would really like to see this movie in an English subtitled version.
Amazing movie that really delves deep into themes of love, religion, compassion, friendship, existence, and the human soul. I admit I gained a real appreciation for the romantic elements of the Finnish language after seeing this. I put the movie on par with most of Hollywood's best love stories, but it also has an existentialist aspect making it similar to other great movies such as "Run Lola Run". The cinematography is also quite excellent and there is a real sense of a connection between the characters and their very secure and comfortable society. The natural beauty of Finland is captured perfectly and it almost adds an aura of calm to the film. I recommend this to any serious movie lovers and its a 10/10 for me.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A young man, who believes in nothing, lives a shallow hedonistic life, but has great personal charm. A woman who is part of a close knit group of friends (herself and two couples) becomes enamoured of him. He upsets the dynamics of the group as each member becomes attracted to him in different ways. Although he has a bleak view of life, little faith in people, and not much sense of morality I found him to be a likable and sympathetic character. He's redeemed by his unfailing honesty, and his childlike acceptance of adult treats: although he's a catalyst in the unravelling of relationships he isn't the prime mover: he just can't save no to what's on offer.
It was nice to see a Mac Ahlbeg film made in the North after all those
years. Even though he is not the director of the film it is him one first
think of because he made a lot of soft-focus romp during the 70's both in
Sweden and Denmark.
Well, for people living in Sweden it is a film which confirm the misconception they have about Finish people: drinking way too much directly from the bottle, bad language and sex-hungry women always looking for a thrill.
I am a Brazilian that lives in Finland. Me and my bf rented 5 movies and one of them was this finnish movie Levottomat. It was the only good movie we rented to be honest and all the other ones were hollywood productions. I like the acting and I have already chose Irina as my favorite finnish actress... I have seen another movie with her. But anywayz It's worthy it !
Jeah Levottomat is great piece of movie with lack of good script!Characters in the film are so shallow that it make me sick!But what is great is this movie?Mac Ahlberg's cinematography witch is marvelous!Only Kari sohlberg can do the same thing as Mac did!Also the freshness of the film is BIG plus! And the only good thing in the script that everything can be seen!I hope that Aki Louhimies makes films with better script because he's the man on the job!!!
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