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Roland af Hällström
Saara is a middle-aged doctor who one day finds out that her architect-husband Leo is having an affair with a younger woman, Tuuli. Instead of revealing her true identity, Saara pretends to be someone else and makes friends with Tuuli. At the same time she is planning the best way to revenge her husband and his lover. Written by
PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER, the Finnish movie "Black Ice" (Kotwica) thrilled us in 2008. A dangerous love triangle that goes from bad to worse is filled with deception, suspense and an imminent cat-fight. The main three actors were picked perfectly for their roles; Saara (Outi Mäenpää) is a middle aged doctor who seems to be happily married to Leo (Martti Suosalo) who is an architect/professor. Leo is having an affair with the much younger Tuuli (Ria Kataja) who happens to be one of his students. Saraa becomes suspicious of her husband as she finds a packet of condoms missing. By pure luck while visiting Leo after a rough day at work she stumbles upon an inappropriate email Leo received from a student which happens to be Tuuli. Instead of confronting Leo like an average, sane human being she decides to do a little investigating and follows her around. Tuuli leads her to a gym where she teaches KARATE!! This scene immediately put a smile on my face because I for saw an epic cat fight. Saraa decides to take Tuuli's karate class and after class she hides Tuuli's bike so she'll need a ride home. After this point these two women are inseparable as Saraa creates a new identity to prevent Tuuli from finding out who she is. Get ready for the deception and interconnecting story lines as the three take turns hanging out with each other.
Deception is the most reoccurring theme seen throughout the movie mostly between Tuuli and Saraa. Saraa befriends Tuuli so she can learn first hand about her relationship with Leo and possibly save the marriage. This was a great twist in the story because you have the Antagonist and Protagonist together but only one is aware of the truth. Saraa does a great job convincing Tuuli how genuine she is but really has an agenda the whole time. Throughout the movie they have some close encounters with Leo which kept me in anticipation for when the truth would come out. For me the interactions between Saraa the wife and Tuuli the home wrecking college girl are what really make this movie.
There is also a love triangle that also goes with the deception in this Finnish flick. As Tuuli's relationship with Leo disintegrates she becomes more and more dependant on Saraa and her companionship. Tuuli and Saraa start hanging out a lot and this creates tension between Tuuli and Leo by causing Leo to become jealous. This is the result of Leo finding a used condom in Tuuli's room from when Saraa had sex the night before. Tuuli calls Saraa to have her explain to Leo what happen because he didn't believe her.
I think its safe to say that the name of the movie was a theme in itself as black ice in real life is dangerous and misleading like the characters in this movie. Black ice is transparent so when driving it looks like the road is fine but actually it's covered by a slippery sheet of ice. Just like in the movie on the outside the characters seem fine but underneath they have serious issues.
While watching the opening scene of the movie for a second time I realized how important it is because it introduces the three main characters that eventually get wrapped up in a love triangle. This scene helps set the belief to the audience that Saara and Leo are very passionate and still in the honeymoon phase. As you watch the movie you find out that this is very misleading and the director does a great job setting this up. Also, I think the end of the clip is where Leo crashes his car and eventually walks off and freezes to death. So with that being said the settings in the 1st scene are actually the same as one of the last. The ending caught me off guard but in a good way and I think it was a fitting way to end it, so if you're looking for a happy ending look some where else.
The camera shots to me were very dramatic in this scene especially seeing it for the second time. In one scene you have two people having passionate sex and in the other a girl riding her bike in the cold winter. The focus of the camera during the sex scene uses a lot of close ups on the limbs of the couple showing how intense it is, it goes from sex to heavy foreplay and then to Saraa's face showing her enjoyment. All this is going on as Tuuli is riding the through the winter and the camera follows her journey while showing glimpses of her face as she struggles through the harsh weather.
"Black Ice" is a very interesting and entertaining movie that is worth watching more than once and would have success in America if redone in English. Watching two woman compete for the love of one man is an idea intriguing enough just to watch it and I guarantee this movie will not disappoint.
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