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25-year-old Iiris and Karoliina have been best friends since childhood. Karoliina has been travelling and living abroad for some years now, but is coming back home for the summer as Karoliina has found them a job as waitresses in Hanko, the best summer city in Finland.
I was afraid 'Paha Perhe' would turn out to be another one of those formulaic Kaurismäki-ish low key Finnish dramas spiced with an awkward sense of dark humour. Fortunately, the impression was deceiving.
The film is about a father (Mikael) and son (Daniel) whose daily routine is greatly disturbed after 'the lost daughter' (Tilda), who they haven't heard of in years, crashes into their lives after her mother passes away. As the story has it, this affects the father and son in an entirely different way..
Albeit a somewhat slow start, the film was beautifully filmed, it had nice and charismatic young actors; the theme was pretty thought- provoking and controversial, and there was also a healthy amount of suspense and drama. Regardless, this is still a rather light and uplifting movie.
Even though the film has no direct connections to the Icelandic "Nói Albínói", I found those two films to be somewhat similar--in addition to the general dreamy vibe, youthful actors, and witty humour, there's the motive of breaking off from the present moment by discovering something 'along the way'. When Noi (the young protagonist in "Nói Albínói") finds the means to try to escape the dull and mundane reality of the wintry Reykjavik in a girl working in the local gas station, then for Daniel, her sister Tilda--a free-spirited girl who is not afraid to challenge the safe middle class way of life--provides the means for Daniel to reevaluate his place in life. But, just like Noi, Daniel soon finds himself at odds both with his father and society. Yet, this movie doesn't judge anyone, neither does it lecture us, it doesn't pretend to be a moral vanguard--it simply tells a story of ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations.
Even though it is definitely a small-time film which will not reach a wider audience, it is definitely worth having a go at should you have the chance!
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