Cinema Features

A film (finally) exposed

Louhimies is the most acclaimed director inside Finnish borders in recent times and, with only five films, he has achieved a great reputation and, more importantly, captured a personal style in each one of his films. Having received the Jussi award two consecutive years, he is also a controversial character, not only because of the plots of the films, but also concerning issues in the post-making, which contrasts with his calm attitude. However, it seems that internationally, the Kaurismäki brothers are still unreachable when referring to exporting Finnish films abroad.

Riisuttu Mies will surely create a great deal of discussion among the most conservative sectors of the Finnish population. Nevertheless, the topic is quite controversial, since throughout the movie we follow a gang of peculiar priests, male and female, that split their thoughts between the love for God and the love for the bottle, the power and frantic sex – not exactly the kind of movie that many religious people would feel comfortable watching.

{mosimage}Many can argue that Louhimies pushes their stories to limits that have more to do with fantasy than with the reality of Finnish society, but it is certain that his acid critic always hides some parts of truth. The director is obsessed over showing us the darker side of Finnish society that goes further than lakes, sauna and Lapland. And surely he achieves it with his raw style.

In the main roles we find a group of old collaborators in his previous movies: Samuli Edelmann as the fatty childish priest aspiring to bishop –who is a director and musician himself, having released Rock and Roll Never Dies some months ago, Matleena Kuusniemi in the role of his calculative wife and Laura Malmivaara (who also happens to be the wife of the director) as the hippie young priest, Eve's apple. For those of you who live in or visit Turku, the locations of the churches may be familiar.

With Riisuttu Mies, some themes are repeated by the obsessions of Louhimies, such as the difficulties in love relations, the infidelity and the flexibility of moral values. You can like his visions of society or not, but surely it is worthy to give it a try and watch it.

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