Friday, May 27, 2011

Vares - huhtikuun tytöt / The Girls of April

Aprilsflickorna. FI © Solar Films 2011. P: Jukka Helle, Markus Selin. D: Lauri Törhönen. SC: Katariina Souri - based on the novel Huhtikuun tytöt (2004) by Reijo Mäki. DP: Jari Mutikainen. PD: Antti Nikkinen. COST: Janne Karjalainen. Makeup: Hannele Herttua. Hair: Minna Pilvinen. M: Samuli Laiho, DJ Slow. S: Panu Riikonen. ED: Kimmo Kohtamäki. Casting: Tutsa Paananen, Pia Pesonen, Pauliina Salonius. LOC: Turku. CAST: Antti Reini (Jussi Vares), Taisto Oksanen (Tristan da Cunha), Riitta Viiperi (Sirkku Aaltonen), Marjaana Maijala (Anne Airismaa), Tuomas Uusitalo (Karvanoppa), Davide Giovanzano (Gianfranco), Mikko Reitala (Kurt Metto), Ismo Kallio (Gunnar), Jasper Pääkkönen (Kyypakkaus), Ilkka Heiskanen (Inspector Hautavainio), Maria Järvenhelmi (Anna Huttonen), Matti Onnismaa (Pastori), Eppu Salminen (Juhani Luusalmi), Mikko Leppilampi (reporter Ruuhio). 95 min. Distributed by Nordisk with Swedish subtitles by Markus Karjalainen. DCP 2K viewed at Tennispalatsi 5, Helsinki, 27 May 2011.

The second film in the new series of exploits of private eye Jussi Vares, the permanent characters played by the same ensemble. This is light entertainment with a run-of-the-mill approach, and the plot feels particularly familiar from the previous Vares adventure. Young sexy women get killed, and the tracks lead to the rich and the powerful of Turku. They seem to be as obsessed with bunga bunga as Silvio Berlusconi. (Having seen The Battle Over Turku I realize a lot can be said about the powers-that-be of Turku, but hardly that they would be callous about beautiful women being killed). The film-makers don't take these issues seriously, and neither do we in the audience. But I can ignore the clichés and find things to like. The pro forma beating of Vares complete with ketchup "blood" to take impressive photographs to the employer. The meeting of the Anonymous Erotomaniacs. "I felt like I was participating in bad summer stock". The nightmares of Vares. The special travelogue aspect of the Vares movies: taking us to a tour of the actual top bars of Turku. Riitta Viiperi, a favourite actress of Lauri Törhönen's, returns to the screen after a long time, and gives the best performance of the movie, a funny parody of the puma lady. I like the relaxed aspect of the Vares cycle and hope the film-makers would have more ambition, at least they should try to compete with the Palmu films.

The DCP has a 2K transition digital look. The sharpness is often impressive, and there is no trouble with close-ups and shots of faces and buildings only. Aerial shots and nature footage lack the vibrant liveliness of photochemical film.

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