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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
Dark and cold, yet cleverly humorous European cinema
Musta Jää is a dark and cold love triangle and at times quite humorous one. It makes you laugh the first moment and the second it gives you the chills. Director Petri Kotwica clearly had no rush making this, because it seem so well finished, with not much faults. The only thing that I think didn't work all the time was the score. It is a score by a talented cello player from Apocalyptica, but it was playing maybe a bit too much during the movie. It's a minor minus, but not a big one.
All the actors are just fantastic, and the characters are very interesting. Outi Mäenpää is one of the best finnish actresses and she plays Saara, who finds out her husband is cheating on her. It happens the day she turns 40. Husband Leo is played by Martti Suosalo, a very fine actor too. Leo is having an affair with his student, 29 year old Tuuli (Ria Kataja). Saara starts planning a revenge, that is megalomanic and wonderful to watch, she even creates herself a new identity for it. The plot twists are not stunning but very entertaining and well made.
Movie is good looking too, visually. I think it's not a bit lower than the European medium of cinema. In my opinion it is by far the best finnish movie made in last few years, with Kaurismäki's Laitakaupungin Valot of course. This makes Petri Kotwica one of the most interesting new finnish directors. And this proves he's a great writer too. Movie has a lot of small little things - of acting, characters, cinematography, dialog - that are just genius, not really that much seen in finnish cinema. Much of it happens in Saara's mind. Not that much that you could analyze it like Ingmar Bergman's Persona (which has some fine similarities), but still some. The whole masquerade sequence is one of the things i like a lot too.
I recommend Musta Jää to people who like a well written, well acted and well directed little dark but cleverly humorous European, almost an art film-like cinema. Not for ones who dislike semi-low tempo, and too intelligent structure.
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