In the 1970s, a 12-year-old boy Esko lives in Tornio, northern Finland, a town bordering Sweden across the river. Esko befriends a Swedish boy, Pate, and learns to share his obsession for ... See full summary »
In the 1970s, a 12-year-old boy Esko lives in Tornio, northern Finland, a town bordering Sweden across the river. Esko befriends a Swedish boy, Pate, and learns to share his obsession for Harry Houdini, the legendary escape artist. While standing handcuffed on the railway bridge, contemplating a stunt jump into the icy river, he reminisces the dramatic events of the summer before. For the viewer, his problems are presented with warm humour # gang fights, feeling guilty for lying, Father losing his job, Mother losing her nerves, not to mention Grandfather having lost his willingness to speak since a traumatic war experience 30 years earlier. Written by
Most nordic films are about a young boy/girl approaching adulthood in the 50's-70's. That is a commonly accepted practice and i have nothing to complain about that. The period settings give nice flashbacks, and often these films have great dialogue, good child / adult characters and interesting stories. However Kahlekuningas, despite its favorable reviews, seemed to me as a complete failure. It is a superfluous imitation of other similar films, a shapeless mess of little incidents and characters that never form a satisfying story. Miikka Enbuske in the lead tries hard to be symphatetic and brisk but ends up sounding fake and irritating. This is probably largely the directors fault. Other actors are more skilled, but their roles aren't much to talk about. Sulevi Peltola is wasted as the grandpa who is stuck in wartime memories (what a novel idea!). Is his wetting of his pants supposed to be comical or tragic? Overall Kahlekuningas is quite lame, but has a few genuinely funny moments. If you like this sort of stuff, you may want to check this out for yourself, maybe you won't be as disappointed as i was.
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