Lights in the Dusk (2007)
Critic Consensus: From its brilliant cinematography to its compassionate characters, Lights in the Dusk is another successful exercise in deadpan minimalist comedy from Aki Kaurismäki.
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Critic Reviews for Lights in the Dusk
Kaurismaki creates some beautiful frames, carefully composing his affectless characters against the rooms' colors, but there's something wrong with your story when people are upstaged by the decor.
It's a deceptively satisfying, almost magical achievement, like being stranded in a desert yet never going thirsty.
Kaurismäki is self-consciously tapping into the raw pathos of an earlier time in cinema (the pain and loss that often accompanied Charles Chaplin's Little Tramp, for example). The idea works, though it is finally wearing.
The distance Kaurismki creates belies his deeply humanistic streak. He engages characters in the direst of situations not to see them suffer but to search for hope.
Audience Reviews for Lights in the Dusk
An ironic, existential portrait of loneliness. From the start, Koistinen is painfully out of sync with his environment and ostracized by almost every person he encounters. The tight, lingering frame compositions, remarkably open and suggestive, emphasize this discordant, askew vision. Amidst this bleakness, hope triumphs in the final, life-affirming shot. A positive end to Kaurismaki's Loser Trilogy.
A night-watchman with a simple, lonely life is framed by mobsters.
[font=Century Gothic]Written and directed by Aki Kaurismaki in a deadpan style, "Lights in the Dusk" is about lonely Koistinen(Janne Hyytiainen), who has worked as a security guard for the past three years. Despite having neither experience or money, he wants to open his own security firm. One day, into his life walks blonde Mirja(Maria Jarvenhelmi) and they go out on a date. He falls for her but has no idea of her ulterior motive. Nor does he question the possibility that she is quite frankly out of his league.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Considering "Lights in the Dusk" is centered around a heist, it should come as no surprise that none of the characters see working for a living as anything remotely honorable. Mirja is employed by Lindholm(Ilkka Koivula), a gangster, who looks down his nose at Koistenen while using him to get the security codes for a shopping mall that he regularly patrols. Mirja is torn but fears having to actually work in a regular job too much to stop.[/font]
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