A film group is making a movie in a small village. The story is based on true events that has happened in the the same village a few decades ago. A dis-liked writer Pentti Töysä arrives in ... See full summary »
This film is the second silver screen adaption of the Finnish war book by Väinö Linna with the same name as the film. The story is based on Linna's experiences as an infantry man in the ... See full summary »
Young advertising executive Vatanen suddenly quits his job and his whole life in Helsinki, and decides to spend a while in the Finnish wilderness. A wounded hare hit by a car becomes his ... See full summary »
A female fashion model Anni Stark (played by Tiina Björkman) takes leave from the fashion business and goes to Finland's Lappland (a wilderness region in Northern Finland, better known as ... See full summary »
Matti Kassila, the director of another critically acclaimed thriller, "Kaasua, Komisario Palmu" (1961), is one of the few Finnish directors who have a natural eye for establishing a spine-tingling and admittably sometimes scary mood simply with carefully selected angles and a soundtrack to match.
"Jäähyväiset presidentille" tells the story of a disgruntled weapons expert who has reached a conclusion: someone has to assassinate the president, in order to make a political and ethical statement. And since no one else will, it's up to him to do it. But first he will have to take out some general public, to prepare for the main event.
What sets this movie apart from many other films that deal with the assassination of a president, is not only the fact that the president being portrayed here is not a fictitious one, but Urho Kekkonen, a brilliant politics strategist who led the country for a quarter of a century, and still remains as the most remembered, respected and admired head of state Finland has known. Also, the events take place in a country where no one has, to date, ever tried to actually assassinate the president.
It is difficult to take a natural and realistic setting, and combine it with a string of events which would be very unlikely to take place in that setting - and still make it work. This is where Kassila, however, perfectly succeeds. Hannu Lauri makes a brilliant performance as the cold-hearted, on-edge sociopath - and yet he is the opposite of the typical Hollywood-style assassin; he doesn't have a background in Secret Service or Special Forces, he seems nothing more than a regular joe from the street who gives the credit for his bitterness to the government.
This movie is the first of its kind in Finland, and has ever since been the last. Not many would have the nerve to try and pull this off in Finland and not have it seem a ridiculously unrealistic movie. But in the hands of Kassila, it seems, anything can turn into gold.
Enjoy the movie.
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