Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
Finland, 1985. Villealfa Filmproduction Oy. Screenplay by Aki Kaurismaki. Cinematography by Timo Salminen. Produced by Aki Kaurismaki. Music by Aki Kaurismaki, Mikko Mattila, Jone Takamaki, Casablanca Vox. Costume Design by Susanna Laurola. Film Editing by Aki Kaurismaki, Raija Talvio.
A group of men named Frank (and one non-Finnish speaker who is not) band together, united by their mutual desire to make their way to an island paradise far away from the grimy urban cares that make up their low lives. Robberies and shoot outs, heists and ambushes abound between bouts of talking over cigarettes at bar tables in this second feature by Aki Kaurismaki, a curious film that has achieved cult status but really is just a sliver of an experience. The whimsy that one loves in the auteur’s work is usually the manner by which a deeper and more connected story is told; here it’s all surface level stuff, most of it just feels like an excuse for the cool scenes of violence and it makes little impression.