A Finnish version of Ken Loach’s Riff-Raff is an absolute treasure in the wild. The film takes us to Helsinki’s poor class struggles and finding a soulmate in the most extraordinary way.
We see two stories that eventually merge into one but not without its complications. Both protagonists are absolutely classic Finnish people who’d rather say nothing than too much. Small talk barely exists and when it does, it is perfectly awkward.
Fallen Leaves shows the struggles and sacrifices of living on the lowest wages, but not without the charm of Finnish humour and adorable twists. It is emotional and we are rewarded for every worry and sadness. The sadness expands further as the film is set in the early days of war in Ukraine, when Russia bombed Mariupol. The news also have its influence on the characters – just as it still has on all of us.
And when you don’t expect it to be even better – it is. I absolutely adored the scenes at the cinema where not only they watched The Dead Don’t Die (which I adore) but also shown director Ari Kaurismaki’s joy in cinema-making and his fondness to the masters of old.
Finnish sensitivity is something I cherish a lot. Being crazy about Finnish music in my adolescence years, I took interest in their culture and behaviours. Fallen Leaves is what I adore the most. It is a perfect combination of my favourite Finnish qualities as much as great humour and heartwarming story. It gives the best thing a film can give you.