Many sources cite this as Mänttäri's best film, and I can agree. It's a story of 17-year old Katja, who moves to his father's place. She hasn't been in touch with her dad Ossi for 10 years after her parents' divorce. There are many questions from the past that the two try to deal with in a short time.
The film features many bar scenes and colorful minor characters, typical for Mänttäri. There are also tragic elements in the form of the neighbour family. Hanna Manu, who plays Katja, gives a display of fresh energy, carrying the movie along. It would have been nice to see her more in Finnish cinema, but for some reason this has been her only lead role. Antti Litja does probably his best work here, drawing an immediately recognizable portrait of a Finnish man of his generation.
The film's strength is, that is doesn't take itself too seriously. It doesn't get too gloomy, even if there's lots of unspoken grief and loneliness in between the lines.
For me this was a nostalgic trip to Finland of early 90's, which by that time was deeply in the hands of an economic recession. The numerous drinking scenes fit the atmosphere well. The film is beautifully shot and there's an air of approaching winter and melancholy in many scenes, balancing with the straight-forward, outspoken attitude of young Katja's character.
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