What I love the most about Kaurismaki films is the way he used his actors in detached Bressonian canon of ‘models’. They never overreact or dramatize in their performance or expressions reflecting their state of mind, social condition or survival struggle. I wonder how Kaurismaki so brilliantly got it delivered effortlessly in most of his films that on screen all of them look like some sort of figures belong to trans state- calm and yet conscious! In this latest offering, the world is quite hostile and indifferent and yet hopefully unpredictable around its two central characters. One is an old working class shoe polish man and another is an African boy landed up as illegal immigrant in a remote French town.
The setting is once again a common Kaurismaki trait- a working class neighborhood colony where strong and long neighborhood bonding tried to help each other keeping their different cultural and racial identities on side. Along with the old man, they all served as protective umbrella in their mission to save the boy from sniffing cops and help him to reach his destination. The old man is also a struggler who is managing his life on meager income with a wife passing through a serious illness in hospital and a loyal dog as only family member. Perhaps, the arrival of boy gives his life a different direction or aim and excitement in his otherwise mundane routine life. The film becomes an interesting triangle after arrival of a suspicious cop encountering the old man so often.
As one of Kauismaki fan said, ‘He never disappoints’. So far this is my third Kaurismaki film and he’s growing director on my regular compulsive ‘hours of darkness’! His minimalist approach, low key performances, simple on surface and complex on other level plot with dry humor, visually rich frames and eclectic background score is like a sweet surprise to watch on screen. And I must say, this is one of the worth watching and engrossing film experience to witness.