Thursday, April 12, 2012

ARIEL (1988)

Back to the working class world of Kaurismaki! This second installment of his proletariat trilogy has typical Kaurismaki traits and props with plot of society’s marginal characters facing existential and circumstantial survival problem in their homeland. Freedom always costs them separation from their motherland. An unemployed mine worker tries to seek work with a blessed convertible cadillac and saved bank money. Hard luck befalls with money but luck befalls with his encounter of a working class single mother. The irony lies in work, where the lady works in multiple jobs in multiple shifts, the man didn’t find anything suitable for him! With an accidental tussle with a ruffian, the man thrown to prison. He meets a helping friend who eventually lead him towards prison break followed by bank robbery that leads towards final escape route to a ship named Ariel.  

The typical Kaurismakian downbeat and sardonic mood, the deadpan expressions of characters and the drollness of atmosphere and setting has faded charm of its own. Here  he juggled so wonderfully with moments of crime and survival, tragedy and black humor, hard luck and positive note all running hand in hand. This is one of his those films where he’s at his best in minimalist approach and many of the scenes curbing the things the audience wanted eagerly to see- especially that bank heist sequence. Besides what I always loved about Kaurismaki film is he always managed to achieve all these effects with a minimalism in time duration too; the length of this film is less than one hour ten minutes!  


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