Saturday, September 27, 2008


The Novelist. FI (c) 2008 MRP Matila Röhr Productions. P: Marko Röhr, Asko Apajalahti, Mikko Tenhunen. D: Hannu Kahakorpi. SC: Elina Halttunen - based on the novels by Kalle Päätalo - and the adaptation by Miisa Lindén. DP: Jarkko T. Laine. Starring Kai Lehtinen (Kalle Päätalo), Susanna Anteroinen (Leena), Nina Jääskeläinen (Laina), Pirjo Leppänen (Riitu), Antti Virmavirta (Ilmari Vouvila), Kari Hietalahti (Veikko Moilanen), Ahti Jokinen (Kummun Kalle), Maija Paunio (Leena's office pal). 107. A Nordisk release viewed as a digital projection at Tennispalatsi 2, Helsinki, 27 September 2008. - The digital image of this production is good in close-ups, ok in town scenes and not so good in the nature scenes and in the countryside. The colour is too bright and stylized. - This film covers the years 1951-1957 in Kalle Päätalo's life. Päätalo became Finlands's best-selling author. He wrote 39 novels and several other books. The center of his oeuvre is the autobiographical 26-volume Iijoki cycle. Päätalo's books have been printed in 3,6 million copies in a land of 5 million people. - His great inspiration: Mika Waltari's Aiotko kirjailijaksi [Do You Want To Become a Writer, 1935). His first novel: Ihmisiä telineillä [People on the Scaffold, 1957]. The film is the story of how Päätalo became a writer. - The actors are excellent. - I liked Mikko Niskanen's story of Päätalo's youth before the war in the films Elämän vonkamies [The Lead Raftsman of Life, 1986] and Nuoruuteni savotat [The Lumbercamps of My Youth, 1988]. - This films jumps 20 years ahead in the Päätalo story. It starts in the countryside in Taivalkoski, and the main story takes place in Tampere, the biggest industrial city of the country. - Of the director's touch one could say that it is very matter-of-fact, plain tv drama, without any special visual concept. - Mikko Niskanen and Edvin Laine did well with Päätalo, and Hannu Kahakorpi keeps a sense of authenticity and truth in the characters and the storytelling. - Kai Lehtinen is very good in the leading role. He conveys a certain clumsiness of the Finnish male, but also the sensitivity beneath. This kind of Finnish man is not far from the image of the Westerner in the American cinema. - Pirjo Leppänen, who was already playing Kalle's mother in the 1980s, is still perfect.

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