Friday, November 15, 2019


    FI © 2019 Solar Films Inc. Oy. P: Markus Selin, Jukka Helle.
    D: Tiina Lymi. SC: Anna Viitala, Tiina Lymi – based on the novel (2012) by Eve Hietamies. DP: Konsta Sohlberg F.S.C. AD: Sattva-Hanna Toiviainen. Cost: Tiina Kaukanen. Makeup: Kata Launonen. M: Juri Seppä. S: Pekka Karjalainen. ED: Joona Louhivuori F.C.E.
    C: Petteri Summanen (Antti Pasanen), Marja Salo (Enni Korhonen), Olavi von Bagh (Paavo), Ellen Herler (Terttu), Ria Kataja (Pia), Juha Muje (Antero), Marja Packalén (Anita), Santeri Helinheimo Mäntylä (Janne), Marjaana Maijala (Anna Reponen), Niko Saarela (Ilkka Reponen), Kimmo Taavila (Peippo), Kaisa Hela (Pasanen's boss), Olli Rahkonen (Ossi), Mari Hynynen (tarhatäti), Jorma Tommila (tarhasetä), Sanna-Kaisa Palo (Terttu's grandmother), Chike Ohanwe (nurse), Sari Siikander (infotyöntekijä), Pirjo Lonka (woman at the bar). Tanssikeskus Footlight / Julianna Luhtala.
    Loc: Finland (Helsinki: Roihuvuori, Vantaa: Tammisto) and Spain.
    Premiere: 15 Nov 2019 – released by Oy Nordisk Film Ab – Swedish subtitles (n.c.) – 98 min.
    DCP viewed at Kinopalatsi 1, Helsinki, 15 Nov 2019.

Tarhapäivä [Nursery Day] is a sequel to the popular comedy Yösyöttö / Man and a Baby (literally: [Night Feed], 2017), both based on novels in a trilogy by Eve Hietamies about a busy career father who has to take care of his baby son alone after his mother falls victim to a chronic post-natal depression. It is a serious theme full of possibilities of humoristic observations about contemporary life.

Tiina Lymi is at the helm of the sequel in which the excellent cast and crew mostly remain the same. Petteri Summanen in the leading role is a master of the dead pan and the blank stare.

In the first film Antti, the protagonist, met a single mother, Enni who shared his predicament. She was with a girl baby, Terttu, of the same age as Antti's son Paavo. They remain good friends without a romantic interest. In Tarhapäivä Enni lands in a nearly fatal traffic accident and Antti gets the responsibility of both Paavo and Terttu. Again he has to learn everything from scratch because girls are different, and every child is different.

Because of Enni's accident Tarhapäivä is a more serious film than Yösyöttö. In Yösyöttö Enni was a strong, active and initiative-taking female protagonist, as a master karateka in some ways stronger than Antti, but in Tarhapäivä she is mostly reduced to lying unconscious in the hospital, and her presence is mostly conveyed via flashbacks from a Spanish beach holiday.

A key comic concept in Yösyöttö was Antti's penchant for fabrications and the postponed truth. His situation was so painful, humiliating and ridiculous that he tried to conceal it with lies, but because he was getting increasingly exhausted, he was also too tired to remember his excuses accurately. The theme returns in Tarhapäivä. Time and again we hear Antti's version and simultaneously see how it really is in a montage sequence. Most seriously, Antti does not tell Terttu the truth about Enni to protect the child.

Most I like in Tarhapäivä the gravity in the account of the troubled children. Both suffer, and issues emerge: violent behaviour at the nursery and stealing at the supermarket. Tarhapäivä is an interesting, rich and rewarding movie, but it lacks the panache of Yösyöttö, the cinematography is less ambitious, and instead of sparkling time lapse passages we have languid flashbacks from the beach.

Yösyöttö had a warm and vibrant quality in the digital cinematography. Also Tarhapäivä has a lovely and pleasant visual look.

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