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Is love really based upon wanting something so hard that you really
decide yourself what you want out of it? That's my thought while
watching this Norwegian/Finnish film by Norwegian director Eirik
This movie is so romantic, that it's almost unbelievable. Got to be a great for couples in love to watch. Not only is the start of the film taking place in Instanbul under very pleasant holiday weather and romantic circumstances, but what is impossible to miss out on, is that it's so naturally played by all the actors. The chemistry is amazing.
What it really interesting, is that it's a double take on a love story, by some freak luck. It's also a great take on person sons meeting accidentally, feeling chemistry. A contact which may never would have taken place if it weren't for Kaisa's brave first steps of conversation. The film relays heavily on fantasy of the mind as well as imagination and the need to feel loved. It's also an inspiration to follow up your dreams, and never compromise on your inner feelings. And how is it possible to go to work like everything's normal, when you're head over heels in love?
Debuting feature film director Eirik Svensson has made a great little film as a debut, which really is a good take on a starting romances. I find the acting very natural and realistic. Simple forward meeting of a couple of shy, normal humans. Beautifully filmed also on a small budget, and the story is both written (with Jyrki Vaisanen) and directed by a guy we obviously will hear much more from.
It's really love at first sight between Norwegian Jacob and Finnish Kaisa, meeting at his final day of holiday in Istanbul. The next day ho goes back to Norway, but Kaisa can't forget him. Later on she moves from Helsinki to Oslo, and coincidentally he recognizes Jacob again in a supermarket. But is it Jacob? Doesn't he recognize her? Doesn't he want to admit they have met? It builds up to be a predicament.
The chemistry between Pamela Tola and Espen Klouman-Høiner is showing great acting. It's the first time I see her in a film, but he is always very good. For many it'll be Joachim Trier's "Reprise", which was widely critically acclaimed. Here he is playing to different guys, which resembles each other. He does remarkably well. What a talented young actor!
The film is 98% spoken in English, due to the two languages being so different that they have English as a second language in both countries. It'll work well internationally.
The film has good drive until it stalls a bit mid way through. Still very romantic, but it's more likely to make you fall off then, if you're not the romantic type. I'm not a great fan of romantic films, but still the chemistry here saves the day!
This movie was fantastic I loved it! The chemistry between the main
characters was um electric, with adoring glances that seemed to say a
thousand words.. I haven't seen chemistry in a movie in a while so I
found it refreshing. There were a few things that I was slightly
bothered by, I would say, some unanswered questions but the chemistry
which was palpable, the acting which was superb and overall storyline
made me actually see past that and thats saying a lot for me...this
movie was quiet and beautiful not the usual over the top scenes in
recent movies, no final scene where someone is running after someone or
driving like a madman to get to the airport which seems to be in every
I've spent my days searching for another movie like this. Still searching.........
Norwegian screenwriter and director Eirik Svensson's feature film debut
which he co-wrote with Finnish screenwriter Jyrki Väisänen, premiered
in Norway, was shot on location in Norway, Finland, Germany and Turkey
and is a Norway-Finland co-production which was produced by Norwegian
producer and director Karin Julsrud and Norwegian producer Linn
Kirkenær. It tells the story about a woman named Kaisa who one night
whilst on a vacation trip in Istanbul, Turkey with two friends forgets
to bring along her room key when she goes out and upon returning meets
a man named Jacob and his two friends.
Subtly and finely directed by Norwegian filmmaker Eirik Svensson, this quietly paced fictional tale which is narrated mostly from the two main characters point of view, draws an involving portrayal of a connection that arises between a Norwegian man and a Finnish woman after a coincidental encounter in the capital city of Turkey. While notable for its various and naturalistic milieu depictions, fine cinematography by Norwegian cinematographer Martin Hogsnes Solvang, production design by Norwegian production designer Ann Kristin Talleraas and use of sound, this character-driven and narrative-driven story which captures a balanced sense of melancholy, joyfulness and authenticity which is as admirable as the ones found in romantic independent films from other countries around the world depicts two interrelated and perceptible studies of character and contains a great score by Finnish composer Verneri Pohjola.
This tangible, humorous and gently and commendably romantic love-story about interpersonal relations which is set in four different capital cities and where two people are coincidentally reunited and one does not remember the other, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, subtle character development and continuity, natural and timely dialog, minimal touch of surrealism and the fine acting performances by Norwegian actor Espen Klouman Høier and Finnish actress Pamela Hola who shares a magnetic chemistry. A lyrical, rhythmic and atmospheric character piece.
The Finnish title, Kaksi Tarinaa Rakkaudesta, translates as Two Stories
About Love... which, for anyone with half a brain (and used to all the
stupid tropes of these kind of films), gives away the entire plot as
soon as Kaisa - the female lead - approaches the wrong man in a shop in
The film begins in Turkey, where Kaisa and her two mates conveniently meet three Norwegian men; Kaisa and one of the blokes hit it off and it's genuinely nice to see real chemistry with believable affections growing, rather than them just jumping into bed and the audience having to pretend along with them that they're in love.
Unfortunately, Kaisa is ultra annoying in her incessant questioning of something the man clearly doesn't want to discuss and when the men go back home, she's left regretting letting him get away.
Luckily, Kaisa has the finances and freedom to travel at will and she moves to Oslo, presumably with the hope of bumping into the dude on the street... which, obviously, was never going to succeed if her memories of him prompt her to approach a completely dissimilar-looking bloke to ask if he remembers her from Istanbul (note: it's actually the same actor in both roles, in a deliberate attempt to fool viewers, even though there's no way it's the same character).
Cue a love affair, during which time we wonder if Kaisa's supposed to be the world's worst dance teacher and all of a sudden, her and the new bloke are living in Helsinki... which makes the inevitable all the more ridiculous.
I won't ruin it for those who are blessed to not spot the endings of clichéd flicks like this a mile away, thus can enjoy them more than the rest of us, but - unless this film was partly funded with the stipulation of shooting some portion of it in Berlin - the ending makes no sense whatsoever, even though it was all so predictable a long time ago already.
Verdict: sadly, one of the better Finnish films, which demonstrates how awful things are when I can't really recommend this.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'Must Have Been Love' (its Norwegian title, 'En Som Deg', would more
accurately translate as 'Someone Like You'), opens in İstanbul as three
holidaying girls from Finland meet three holidaying boys from Norway.
One each from the two groups - Kaisa and Jakub, respectively - hit it
off rather well, although Jakub is mysteriously reluctant to explain
why he dumped his fiancée. But the boys are leaving the next day, so
the spark between the two never has the chance to, erm, ignite.
Some time later Kaisa, having secured employment in Norway, is wandering around an Oslo supermarket when she spots someone she thinks is Jakub: apart from a different hairstyle, moustache and one of those ludicrous little lip-beards, the resemblance is uncanny. However, it's *not* Jakub: this chap says he doesn't recognise Kaisa and denies ever having been in İstanbul. But he is attracted to her and the pair begin a relationship - indeed, Anders (for that is his name) follows Kaisa to Helsinki when she has to return to her native country and the pair set up home together. But then cracks start to appear in the relationship and it becomes apparent that Anders isn't exactly who Kaisa imagined him to be. Lucky for her she's met Jakub again...
After the film's showing at the 2013 London Film Festival I was walking behind two Norwegian women who had also seen it - my Norwegian isn't good enough to understand exactly what they were saying, but the tone of disbelief in their voices said it all. A British woman talking to her friend was even more understandable: "Actually, that girl really p****d me off" she commented (expletive deleted to get around IMDb's rather puritanical 'prohibted words' list!) The film certainly tries the viewer's patience: it starts off as a rather sweet and chaste romance, then veers into a sort of mystery (is Anders really Jakub? And what's this business with him standing in the road in his pants - is it a dream, or did it really happen?) The big reveal of Anders' identity leads the viewer to question Kaisa's sanity and undermines the entire film.
On the other hand, the acting is okay: Espen Klouman Høiner, as Jakub/Anders, manages to create two distinct but different characters; Pamela Tola as Kaisa is perfectly competent and very pretty.
So: man given to nocturnal wanderings in his pants? Check. Another man who refuses to discuss his former relationship? Check. Woman who imprints the features of might-have-been boyfriends onto other men? Check. This film is psychos in love!
I have rarely felt this complete emptiness while watching a movie. And especially one which I would have guessed has so much potential! I love Finnish, I love Norwegian; that alone should have been a good starting point. But the story managed to stretch my patience and finally, after a long wait, lead into nothing. There are these little glimpses of scenes, things that are just unfolding and could drive the plot on, but then they just disappear, and make way to the previously tried out nothingness. Like the scene where Anders is in his undies in the street in the middle of the night, the time when Kaisa leaves the group to get milk and wanders off to a different location, the talk between the Norwegian cousins in the kitchen.. Why? What? Where are all these bits of beginnings leading to? Nowhere. A total waste of time. I recommend watch something else. Anything.
Wow! What the point of this movie was about - absolutely eludes me?
Sure the basics are that a man and his friends meet a woman in a
foreign land but then it would *almost* be giving the whole movie away
to say - that pretty much nothing of any consequence happened
afterwards: move along now please, there's nothing much for you to see.
And there isn't! To put things into context, my nym might suggest that I'm some some 90-ish IQ "Trashformers/Die Hard 4" fan who just happened to be trapped into seeing this movie, by someone near infinitely smarter. But, if you thought that, then you'd be absolutely wrong: For I'm a great fan of many of Eric Rohmer's movies. What's more, I rate many independent and foreign movies among my favourites. So, I've no issues with waiting for a wonderful movie to develop. It's just that 'Must Have Been Love' could just as easily have been titled "Must Have Been Love, But... We're Not Sure". Yes, it *is* that pretentiously banal!
Love amidst foreign climes is supposed to be rooted in intrigue, mysterious doubts & heady romance. Yet The people depicted in this movie have about as much personality as a pair of bus tickets to nowhere. In all honesty, its screenplay writer could not have written a more boring movie if he tried.
I give it 3/10 because it is well filmed, directed and scored. Apart from the aforesaid, the movie left my wondering aloud: 'what on earth was the point of that movie!?'
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