7.6/10
3,886
20 user 21 critic

Shadows in Paradise (1986)

Varjoja paratiisissa (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 17 October 1986 (Finland)
An episode in the life of Nikander, a garbage man, involving the death of a coworker, a love affair and much more.

Director:

Aki Kaurismäki

Writer:

Aki Kaurismäki
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Ariel (1988)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Finnish man goes to the city to find a job after the mine where he worked is closed and his father commits suicide.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Turo Pajala, Susanna Haavisto, Matti Pellonpää
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A woman's terribly dull life is upended by a one-night stand pregnancy, causing her to seek retribution.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Kati Outinen, Elina Salo, Esko Nikkari
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An exodus to a better life in Eira

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Timo Eränkö, Kari Heiskanen, Asmo Hurula
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A bizarre black-and-white film noir reworking of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. After the death of his father, young Hamlet inherits a seat on the board of a company controlled by his uncle that ... See full summary »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Pirkka-Pekka Petelius, Esko Salminen, Kati Outinen
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An adaptation of Dostoyevsky's novel, set in modern Helsinki. Slaughterhouse worker Rahikainen murders a man, and is forced to live with the consequences of his actions.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Markku Toikka, Aino Seppo, Esko Nikkari
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The recession hits a couple in Helsinki.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Kati Outinen, Kari Väänänen, Elina Salo
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Lugubrious Finns Valto and Reino take to the road in search of coffee and vodka, without which their lives are not worth living. But their reveries are interrupted by the arrival of ... See full summary »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Kati Outinen, Matti Pellonpää, Kirsi Tykkyläinen
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In Helsinki, a lonely night watchman is caught up in a series of misadventures with a femme fatale and a crooked businessman.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Janne Hyytiäinen, Maria Järvenhelmi, Maria Heiskanen
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Three struggling artists try to make passable livings in Paris despite knock backs and tragedies.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Matti Pellonpää, Evelyne Didi, André Wilms
Juha (1999)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A farmer's wife is seduced into running away from her stolid older husband by a city slicker, who enslaves her in a brothel.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Sakari Kuosmanen, Kati Outinen, André Wilms
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After fifteen years' service, Henri Boulanger is made redundant from his job. Shocked, he attempts suicide, but can't go through with it, so he hires a contract killer in a seedy bar to ... See full summary »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Margi Clarke, Kenneth Colley
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or ... See full summary »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen, Annikki Tähti
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matti Pellonpää ... Nikander
Kati Outinen ... Ilona Rajamäki
Sakari Kuosmanen ... Melartin
Esko Nikkari Esko Nikkari ... Co-worker (työkaveri)
Kylli Köngäs Kylli Köngäs ... Ilona's Girlfriend (ystävätär)
Pekka Laiho Pekka Laiho ... Shop Steward (myymälänhoitaja)
Jukka-Pekka Palo Jukka-Pekka Palo ... Third Man (kolmasmies)
Svante Korkiakoski Svante Korkiakoski ... Police (poliisi)
Mari Rantasila Mari Rantasila ... Nikander's Sister (Nikanderin sisar)
Safka Pekkonen Safka Pekkonen ... Pianist (pianisti) (as Safka)
Antti Ortamo Antti Ortamo ... 2nd pianist (pianisti II)
Mato Valtonen ... Pelle (as Markku Valtonen)
Sakke Järvenpää ... Staffan (as Sakari Järvenpää)
Ulla Kuosmanen Ulla Kuosmanen ... Melartin's wife (Melartinin vaimo)
Neka Haapanen Neka Haapanen ... Cook (kokki)
Edit

Storyline

Only connect. In gray, class-conscious Helsinki, Nikander is a stoic, solitary garbage man. Cigarettes, coffee, bingo games, and English lessons border his circumscribed life. There are few words, no smiles, and no laughter. Violence and the threat of violence seem close at hand. Ilona, a supermarket clerk who frequently loses her job, bandages Nikander's hand one evening; later he gets her out of a jam, and they begin an on-again off-again relationship. "Why do I keep losing?," Nikander asks his co-worker, Melartin, a man Nikander met in jail and helped get a job. Can he break his losing streak? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Finland

Language:

Finnish | Swedish | English

Release Date:

17 October 1986 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Shadows in Paradise See more »

Filming Locations:

Eteläsatama, Helsinki, Finland See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Towards the end, there's a scene where Nikander's friend talks about a problematic fellow worker named Mikkonen. Matti Pellonpää, who plays Nikander here, would later play Mikkonen in Ariel (1988), the second part of the Proletariat trilogy directed by Aki Kaurismäki. See more »

Goofs

When Nikander and Ilona leave the gas station and ride down the road, they pass a white car. The white car is standing still in the middle of the road. Presumably they drove so fast that they passed the white car, but it stands still. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Nikander: Friday!
Co-worker: [co-worker is offering Nikander a drink] You want?
Nikander: I'm driving.
Co-worker: Listen, Nikander. We've been a team quite a while. But I've been doing this for 25 years. I'm getting tired and so is my heart.
Nikander: What's the matter with it?
Co-worker: What ever.
Co-worker: I've got an idea - my own company. Five trucks to start with...
Nikander: What does it end?
Co-worker: The sky is the limit. The state and the banks will back us. I know everything about this game, but I'm not going to die behind the wheel.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Matka suomalaiseen elokuvaan: Kaupunkiblues (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Herbstlaub
Written by Klaus Treuheit
Performed by Klaus Treuheit
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
a masterpiece of dry wit and slight beauty
19 April 2017 | by framptonhollisSee all my reviews

Various visuals in "Shadows in Paradise" manage to speak more than thousands of words. In the spirit of "L'Atalante" and "Marty", "Shadows in Paradise" is a poignant love story that chronicles two likable characters' miraculous, romantic, and conflict-infested relationship. It combines the hilarious with the melancholic in a way that director Aki Kaurismäki had proved to master time and time again. His juggling of emotions is bathed in stark realism that lies within the film's colorful visuals.

The lead characters are not played by glamorous Hollywood stars, these characters are not the stereotypical fools usually present in romantic comedies. They are real, but still quite interesting, human beings. In the spirit of writers like James Joyce and filmmakers such as Charles Burnett, Kaurismaki finds beauty in everyday moments and people. While there are moments of fierce conflict in this film that can, in no way, be called "mundane", a vast majority of what occurs in "Shadows in Paradise" is highly normal and borderline bland. However, through these slight details, Kaurismaki is able to explore the depths of the human experience, as well as the hidden beauty within the everyman. This sweet, gentle, and darkly comic love story will impress both romantics and film critics.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed