The Cuckoo (2003)
A barrier of languages and cultures puts a wall between three people who find themselves sharing a very small house in this offbeat comedy from Russia. It's the fall of 1944 and the war in Europe is beginning to wind down, so Finnish army private Veiko (Ville Haapasalo) is less than enthusiastic when a group of German soldiers decide to use him as a living decoy to attract a Russian sniper. After being fitted out in a SS uniform and chained to a large rock, Veiko manages to escape and seeks shelter in a small farmhouse. But Veiko quickly discovers he's not alone; Anny (Anni-Kristina Usso), a Laplander whose husband is off to war, is living in the house, and she has already taken in a stray soldier, a gung-ho Russian named Ivan (Viktor Bychkov). All three speak different languages, so as Veiko tries to discuss the futility of the war with Sholti, the Russian wants only to capture his Finnish enemy, while Anny isn't able to explain to either of the men that, after months away from her husband, she's in the mood for love. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Cuckoo
Writer/director Alexander Rogozhkin has a way of lapsing into cuteness when the story calls for something more challenging, but The Cuckoo eventually finds its own kind of light, ridiculous tone that generally doesn't talk down to the characters.
A consistently hilarious collision of cultures and a string of misunderstandings.
A mystical fairy tale by Alexander Rogozhkin as beautiful as it is tender.
A wondrous, funny and moving little film.
It's quite a treat.
A winning piece of folk art from an isolated way of life, worth a look for those who want to see the world in all its quirky and earthy forms.
[A] gentle, often funny, always very human film about loneliness and unexpected companionship...
A gently funny mini-epic whose 'make love not war' message is delivered in three languages at once.
Juuso, who made her film debut at 22 in this movie, is spunky and funny. The two guys play off each other like bickering old pals.
Gives us something to think about: How much of what we consider civilization -- intellectual pursuit, politics, nationalism -- relies on language?
Anni is a feisty little thing and you can't help but root for her when she challenges these two burly soldiers and gets out of the relationship exactly what she wants.
A bit overextended for its very simple story...but for the most part this is a charming, curiously touching picture.
A pretty good film -- a dark comedy rigorously observed -- until Rogozhkin reveals himself to be just another New Age softie.
A trifling treat that neither amounts to nor aspires to anything substantial.
Rogozhkin makes nearly all of his points with surprising subtlety.
Audience Reviews for The Cuckoo
I just love this movie... The Cuckoo (Russian: Кукушка, Kukushka)is one of the funniest and best anti-war movies I've seen! Perfect for the film students to learn how to do perfect photography, screenplay and directing! Russian Federation National Award in the Art and Literature Area was awarded to the crew of the film; to the director and the author of the screenplay Aleksandr Rogozhkin, producer Segei Selianov, main cast Anni-Kristiina Juuso, Ville Haapasalo, Viktor Bychkov, director of photography Andrey Zhegalov, director of the film art Vladimir I. Svetozarov, composer Dmitriy Pavlov, sound engineers Anatoliy Gudkov and Sergei Sokolov... they all deserved it!
Aleksandr Rogozhkin did amazingly smooth work of art which takes place during World War II from the perspective of opposing Soviet and Finnish soldiers stranded at a Sami woman's farmhouse.
"Kukushka" was the nickname given by Soviet soldiers exclusively to lone Finnish snipers, who ambushed their targets from a purpose-built tree-branch-nest. Thus the title refers to both Veikko (the sniper) and Anni (a lone woman living in the forest, much like a cuckoo).
If you have a chance to see it - do it now!
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