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Critic Reviews for Ariel
Audience Reviews for Ariel
Signature imagery and themes, delivered with deadpan humor, this is my favorite Kaurismaki film. Subtle, yet hilarious!
"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.
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