Ariel (1988)




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Movie Info

In this Finnish road film, an unemployed miner hoping to find work travels to the south of Finland in the new Cadillac that he received after the suicide of his best friend. Along the way he meets up with several other losers.

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Critic Reviews for Ariel

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (1)

a compelling blend of gritty realism and escapist fantasy

Oct 16, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ariel


Signature imagery and themes, delivered with deadpan humor, this is my favorite Kaurismaki film. Subtle, yet hilarious!

Stefanie C
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

"Ariel" starts with a mine closing for the last time in northern Finland. An old man shoots himself, leaving his son Taisto(Tujo Pajala) the inheritance of a convertible whose top will not close. He takes his life savings and heads south looking for work but all he finds is trouble in the form of all of his money being stolen. Employment at the docks is intermittent which gives him the money to stay in a shelter. At least things are looking up when he meets Irmeli(Susanna Haavisto), a divorced mother. Unlike more recent Aki Kaurismaki movies I have seen, "Ariel" is not much of a comedy and actually pretty grim in spots which results in predictability at times. The different tone is not a bad thing per se, as it sets the stage for a powerful depiction of what it means to live on the margins when there is no work to go around. It might not be the economic situation as such since Irmeli might be monopolizing half the jobs in Finland. Then again, she has to in order to support herself and her son.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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