Varjoja Paratiisissa (Shadows in Paradise) (1986)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this romantic comedy, Nikander is a lonely garbage-truck driver who meets the homely check-out clerk Ilona. Their painful shyness makes for slow romantic progress, until Ilona loses her job, and the two rendezvous in a country motel. Nikander proposes after returning items Ilona stole in retaliation for being fired.
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection


Esko Nikkari
as Co-worker
Jukka-Pekka Palo
as Third Man
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Varjoja Paratiisissa (Shadows in Paradise)

All Critics (1)

Gives the stale conventions of the rom com the dark flipside they need, while downsizing that genre's normally bourgeois sensibilities into a class all its own.

Full Review… | October 22, 2007
Eye for Film

Audience Reviews for Varjoja Paratiisissa (Shadows in Paradise)

Excellent foreign film about two sad sacks who circle each other in search of a relationship. Great direction, acting, cinematography and music.

John Miller
John Miller

completely charming anti-romcom, it's hilariously sad and wonderful. this is my first aki kaurismaki film and i look forward to more! like many, i'm crushed to discover my new favorite actor died 17 years ago :(

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


Signature Kaurismaki! Beautiful composition and deadpan humor, this is not your typical rom com. If you have a penchant for stoicism and cigarettes, this film is an askew vision of Helsinki's outskirts. This debut bodes well for the remainder of the 'Proletariat Trilogy.'

Stefanie C
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

Varjoja Paratiisissa (Shadows in Paradise) Quotes

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