A comedy about Janne, a man from Lapland in Northern Finland, a man who has made a career out of living on welfare. Inari, his girlfriend, is tired of Janne's incapability of getting a grip...
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A comedy about Janne, a man from Lapland in Northern Finland, a man who has made a career out of living on welfare. Inari, his girlfriend, is tired of Janne's incapability of getting a grip on life. Janne wasn't even able to buy a digital TV box that Inari had given money for. Inari gives an ultimatum: a digital box needs to arrive by dawn or she leaves. Janne sets out into the night with his two friends to find a box. On their way to the city of Rovaniemi, Janne and his friends face many challenges, obstacles and temptations. They learn that they need to be daring. There's no room to give into bitterness. The most important thing isn't success, but rather the journey in itself.Written by
I've seen Napapiirin Sankarit or Lapland Odyssey once before in Middle School, when we watched it in class. At the time I didn't have my blog nor did I think that much of movies, and especially Finnish movies felt almost foreign to me, so I rarely watched any outside of school at least.
Someone actually talked about the way this film starts in school – because it doesn't start with the main character Janne. It starts with his friend and his narration. He talks about the tree many men in the area used to hang themselves from. It's an interesting way to start, mostly because that's super dark – but it suits the movie and it suits Finland – but also because there has to be a shift in the point of view, if you want to change from the side character to the main character. That shift works well though. It's smooth, and it feels natural to start following Janne not getting the digital TV box.
The story is fun, and it's entertaining to see what kind of misadventures the main characters get themselves into. It's not the most original comedy out there, when you consider it globally, but at least around the time when it came out, it stood out from most of Finnish comedies. Mostly it's not as bad as some, since there are Finnish comedies I refuse to watch because of the cast and the fact that the movies are remakes of a Danish comedy. I'm not mentioning the movie by name, but I think my Finnish readers know exactly what I'm talking about. Also Napapiirin Sankarit did win four Jussi awards, for best direction, best film, best screenplay and people's choice award, and a Silver Dolphin for best cinematography at Tróia International Film Festival, and two awards at Alpe d'Huez International Comedy Film Festival.
Napapiirin Sankarit is entertaining and it looks amazing, and it takes place in the north, which is a plus since most modern movies seem to take place in the southern Finland. It's definitely worth seeing, whether or not you're from Finland or elsewhere, except most Finnish people have probably seen it already. However I'm not sure about the sequels. I haven't seen them, and they are not directed by Dome Karukoski, but at least the third one is directed by Tiina Lymi, who also directed one of my favourite Finnish movies, Äkkilähtö. Not sure if I'll ever watch them though, since they feel forced. The first one is always the best, right?
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