7.6/10
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20 user 21 critic

Shadows in Paradise (1986)

Varjoja paratiisissa (original title)
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
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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)
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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 »
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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

Production Co:

Villealfa Filmproductions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 »


Soundtracks

Tremble
Written by Albert Collins
Performed by Albert Collins
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting, breezy and simple, but that's not really enough.
10 July 2013 | by Sergeant_TibbsSee all my reviews

My first taste of Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki, I watched Shadows In Paradise shortly after finding out about it because it's so short and seemed to be sweet. Based on reputation and plot lines, Kaurismäki looked to be the Finnish Mike Leigh in his representation of working life, or perhaps anti-Mike Leigh with his minimalist dialogue. The film is good, but too slight to have a big impact. It's a very simple love story, similar to films like Badlands where a couple do wrong to be with each other, but not a lot of exciting events happen. It's well shot and the cinematography is great even if the editing isn't always the best. But it holds back on its characters far too much for me to be invested. Interesting breezy watch though.

7/10


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