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Monday, September 29, 2008


This Ari Kaurismäki fable on loneliness, stoicism, betrayal & redemption is typically fine, but a couple of cuts below its superb predecessor, THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST/’02. The pic boasts Kaurismäki’s usual mix of the sad, the comic & the pathetic and allows a full display of his mastery of composition & color (largely on ‘found’ sets) while letting him run rings around the Hollywood editing demons with pacing that’s as deliberate as it is mesmerizing. But the fable -- about a listless & largely friendless security guard who can’t allow himself to believe that the attractive woman dating him up is using him to set up a robbery – doesn’t acquire the weight needed to set off the emotional notes that make his best pics more than the sums of their parts. At 80 minutes, there isn’t an ounce of fat on it, but a bit more flesh might not hurt.

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