The beauty of this movie is that you, as the reader of the subtitles, are the only one who knows what is going on. The woman and the two men all speak different languages. It is a comedy of errors up until the end.
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September of 1944, a few days before Finland went out of the Second World War. A chained to a rock Finnish sniper-kamikadze Veikko managed to set himself free. Ivan, a captain of the Soviet Army, arrested by the Front Secret Police 'Smersh', has a narrow escape. They are soldiers of the two enemy armies. A Lapp woman Anni gives a shelter to both of them at her farm. For Anni they are not enemies, but just men. Written by
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'Cuckoo' (as the bird) was military slang for a solitary sniper, the role Veikko is forced to masquerade as. See more »
At the beginning of the film, the Russian jeep with Ivan as a prisoner on it is seen moving on a straight road and at low speed. However, the driver of the jeep makes abrupt steering movements which is incoherent with the path of the jeep shown. See more »
It is rare that a film as simply plotted as The Cuckoo could be so affecting. Subtitled films often lack the subtlety of their original language, but the translation of this film is not only well done, it has its own quirky spin that gives it an extra dimension. The story is easy to grasp and seamlessly portrayed. Except for the very beginning, in which it is not known exactly why Veikko is being chained to his rock (unless you read the description of the film or watch the commentary in the DVD's special features,) the story catches your mind and heart immediately: three unlikely people meet and live together in harmony, despite being unable to understand the native languages each speaks. Though there are some humorous moments and some comic twists, generally, this story is one of accommodation and cooperation. The Finnish soldier, the Russian officer and the Sami woman all manage to make a life for themselves through the hardships inflicted by World War II, and in the end, nothing but the love and friendship shines out from their (sometimes) unwilling and often difficult partnership. The plot is best left to individual discovery by the viewer, rather than recounted here. Suffice it to say that this film will touch you in ways other films of grander scale could not. An excellent and well-played and extraordinarily satisfying story that raises the ultimate question of life on this planet: why can't we just all get along?
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