During World War II, more than 70,000 Finnish children were evacuated to neutral Sweden to avoid the conflict. "Mother of Mine", the latest from the award-winning Klaus Härö (Elina: As If I...
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During World War II, more than 70,000 Finnish children were evacuated to neutral Sweden to avoid the conflict. "Mother of Mine", the latest from the award-winning Klaus Härö (Elina: As If I Wasn't There (2002)), tackles that painful patch of history in a tale of 9-year-old Eero, a child who increasingly feels abandoned by his biological Finnish mother and yet not attached to his Swedish surrogate mom. When he is returned to Finland, his confusion intensifies. Written by
"Mother of Mine" tells a story about nine-year-old Eero (Topi Majaniemi) who is one of the war children who were sent from Finland to Sweden in order to escape the war against USSR. It is a very hearty film, and especially at the beginning, when the ruthlessness of the war begins to show its ugly head, it contains downright heartbreaking material.
On the other hand, those parts where grown-up Eero (played by Esko Salminen) converses about the past with his mother feel a bit too much like commentaries, and they might have benefited from a little more liveliness. On the first viewing I thought also that Eero's relationship with the foster mother Signe (Maria Lundqvist) doesn't ever really open and warm up like the narration implies later. However, on the second viewing I noticed that the scene in the graveyard is honestly trying to deal with this point. So that part of the theme is not completely left undeveloped.
Michael Nyqvist as Hjalmar Jönsson does a pretty good job, but one of the best virtues of the film is the fact that director Klaus Härö has been able to cultivate an extremely believable Eero-boy from young Topi Majaniemi. Praises also belong to the numerous incredibly beautiful scenes, of which one of the finest is a shot where a bus comes from the left side of the panorama picture and continues its drive to a stop in the middle of desolation with Eero as its only passenger traveling towards his new home.
In short, "Mother of Mine" is a recommendable movie for everyone who considers him-/herself to be a friend of honest and straightforward drama. See it by yourself or show it to the mother of yours.
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