Could it be everywhere? Yes, the film has many layers and thus a universal appeal. Is it very Finnish? Yes, it has this special feel of Finnish humour and treats its theme with both tough directness and tenderness. Is it good? Yes, more than that, it is excellent. Why? Because the director has something on his mind and has thought of form and thus avoided to make just another poverty story about poor people with poor lives and too much alcohol.
People and their stories. A classical documentary theme. Ordinary people of different age, from different places in Finland. They are in their living rooms the whole film through (apart from the very ending, not to be revealed), they sit, they lie, they talk about their life, their parents, their children, or to each other, or fight with each other or cry together, of joy or out of sadness.
This minimalistic approach is underligned by the way the camera is placed without any movement recording what happens within the frame. Or one could say on the stage of Life. It gives a distance, it gives you respect for the people you are watching, and, the more you get into the film, also compassion for their destinies. The main character is the young man, who becomes a father – you never see the mother – and knows that a new life must begin, without alcohol. Towards the end of the film you hear him say that he can only see his child once a week. He is indeed a tragic character, as is the big man who moves from one apartment to another, a smaller one, where he gets his arm chair placed at the point for watching television. The filmmakers must have been with the characters for a very long time. It all seems so truthful what we are invited to watch, most of the time with a sad feeling but as in a play of Samuel Beckett or a film of Roy Andersson, the interpretation of meaningless goes well with humour. And bravo for an editing that elegantly takes us from one situation and character to the next and the next… and back again.