Triin Ruumet's tragicomedy Päevad, mis ajasid segadusse (2016) is a story of a young man trying to make sense of life in the summer heat of late nineties Estonia. The 27-year- old protagonist Allar moves from one provincial party to another, meeting colourful characters and finding himself in evermore confusing circumstances. The amounting tension and absurdity of surrounding events lead Allar to give serious thought to his life. What follows, is a frantic journey through midsummer Estonia to finally discover meaning in oneself.
The period was less confusing than its implementation on screen
In the late 1990ies, I was only a bit older than the leading characters of the film, but as I lived in a big city, have never liked thumping music and noisy bars, I do not have personal touch of such a lifestyle. But through my friends and relatives, I have distant knowledge. Thus, the attitudes, ways of communication and events depicted seem realistic - praise for the Director/Screenwriter who was a small child back then - but still I can hardly regard it conceptional.
In a sense, it is a typical Estonian film: great/good actors, uneven plot, small budget not enabling "smooth switching"... Particularly the male ones stick out, female performances are weaker and have less scene time, and none of them could be mentioned as undoubtedly better/memorable than the others. On the other hand, I wonder how their rendering is perceived by foreigners, by those who have never seen them before or only casually. As the younger Toompere and Ulfsak are undoubtedly good character actors.
The biggest shortcoming of the plot is the inclusion of "deep" scenes and dialogues chopping and changing the ones with brutes. The choice of music was appropriate, but such an inclusion of singing scenes? They did not conform to the rest of "signature" of the film. The first half or so and the very beginning are the strongest parts.
PS The real black humour (this film is advertised as tragicomedy) lies in the fact that, since that period, only the exterior has evolved or changed. The interior, the essence of being "stuck" in a distant rural area provides similar outputs as visible in the film in question. That is life, and that is as it is.
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