Sunday, 5 June 2011

Napapiirin sankarit / Lapland Odyssey

I don't often write about movies here: I don't watch so many of them, and when I do, they're usually so well-known that I don't see the point adding my review to the thousands already available online.  However, when I have a chance to tell you about a fun movie that probably hasn't been heard of outside Finland, I won't miss it. 

The storyline of "Napapiirin sankarit", Lapland Odyssey, is pretty simple.  It's about three unemployed young men living above the polar circle in Finland.  One of them, Janne, has a girlfriend who asks him to buy a digibox (a decoder for digital TV).  Only the day passes by and Janne, caught by his friends and circumstances, fails to succeed in this simple task. His girlfriend is so upset in the evening that she orders him to get her a digibox before the next morning or she will leave. So here he goes with his friends, pennyless, on a freezing Friday night when every shop is closed, in this desperate quest...

I was a little reluctant to see this movie since I am not a big fan of movies playing on this kind of humor, but I must say I had some good time.  It's not vulgar, not (too much) overdone, the characters are cute and the adventures rather funny.  I also enjoyed the snapshots into modern life in such a place as Lapland.  It's rather impressive, such a remote place that they need to drive 200 kms to get to the closest town and buy anything after 5 pm !  The movie takes place around Christmas time, when the sun never rises, and it's a slightly depressing background for a comedy.  The depressing part of living in Lapland is actually emphasized since the beginning, which gives an unexpected depth to the all movie.  And I also recognized the way of living and the humor of Mr Bear and his friends, so I suppose these traits are common to Finnish boys...

Altogether, a good moment of fun and an interesting insight into everyday life in Lapland.  The movie is available with English subtitles, although it might be difficult to find outside Finland.  Enjoy  :)

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