Friday, August 26, 2022

Laitapuolen hyökkääjä


Aleksi Mäkelä: Laitapuolen hyökkääjä (FI 2022) starring Severi Saarinen as the ice hockey forward Marko Jantunen.

På hal is.
    FI 2022 Solar Films. P: Rimbo Salomaa, Jukka Helle, Markus Selin. Line P: Maria Kaurismäki.
    D: Aleksi Mäkelä. SC: Petja Lähde, Mikko Kouki. Cin: Pini Hellstedt. AD: Pirjo Rossi. Cost: Riitta-Maria Vehman. Makeup: Jenni Aejmalaeus-Pyysing. VFX: Hugo Kiekeben, Tero Malinen. M: Janne Puurtinen. S: Pekka Karjalainen. ED: Kimmo Taavila. Ice hockey experts: Ilmari Pitkänen, Eetu Pöysti. Archival sources: Suora Broadcast Oy, Jääkiekon SM-liiga Oy.
    Theme song and music video: Apulanta: Kämmenen kuva poskeen (2022).
    C: Severi Saarinen (Marko Jantunen / Marko's father), Katariina Havukainen (Kati), Jorma Tommila (Pomo), Tommi Eronen (Timo).
    Haiku Tiensuu (Marko at 6), Anna Airola (Marko's mother), Tero Jartti (dealer), Kari Hietalahti (keeper of the sport memorablia store), Jukka Rasila (sportscaster), Jelmeri Nurminen (Rasmus at 15).
    Special acknowledgement: Marko Lempinen: Läpi helvetin [Through Hell] (2016), a biography of Marko Jantunen, the inspiration for the movie.
    Loc: Lahti: Salpausselkä.
    98 min
    English subtitles: Mika Karttunen, Swedish subtitles: Frej Grönholm. Finnish subtitles: Anitra Paukkula. Subtitles for the hard of hearing: Iira Tuominen.
    The title Laitapuolen hyökkääjä is untranslatable. It means both "winger" (in ice hockey) and a "raider from the margins" (in society). The Swedish title På hal is means: "on thin ice".
    Finnish premiere: 26 Aug 2022, distributed by Nordisk Film Finland.
    Viewed without subtitles at Finnkino Strand 1, Iso Kristiina, Lappeenranta, 26 Aug 2022.

Official synopsis: "Laitapuolen hyökkääjä kertoo jääkiekkoilija Marko Jantusen fiktiivisen selviytymistarinan. Elokuva alkaa Lahdesta vuonna 2015, hetkestä, jolloin koditon Jarna on ajautunut elämänsä syvimpään ahdinkoon. Velkojat tulevat perimään huumerahoja, ja Jarnalle annetaan vuorokausi aikaa maksaa velkansa, mistä alkaa hurja piripäinen taistelu aikaa vastaan. Maaninen vauhti, pelko perässä vaanivista tappajista, vainoharhat ja itseinho vanhoista vääryyksistä johtavat lopulta liikenneonnettomuuteen. Jarna ei jaksa enää paeta, vauhti hidastuu ja hän on luovuttamaisillaan."

"Elokuva näyttää Jarnan rauhattomana sieluna, joka pakenee tavallista ja tasarytmistä arkea. Nuoresta saakka päihteet ja jääkiekko ovat olleet hänelle rakkaita. Hän on mies, joka rakastaa vauhtia. Mutta jos vauhtia ei hidasta, loppuu se kokonaan. Hän polttaa siltoja yksi kerrallaan. On tullut hetki, jolloin lähes koko elämän mittaisen pakomatkan on päätyttävä.
"

AA: Laitapuolen hyökkääjä is a fictional biopic and survival story of the ice hockey player Marko Jantunen, inspired by the biography Läpi helvetin [Through Hell] written by Marko Lempinen.

Marko Jantunen (born in 1971 in Lahti) had a brilliant playing career as an ice hockey forward in 1990–2010, position right wing, shot left, in the SM-liiga team Pelicans, in Finland formerly in KalPa, TPS and Jokerit, in Sweden in Frölunda HC (Elitserien), Färjestad BK (Elitserien) and Timra IK (Elitserien). He was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. Jantunen is an exceptionally deft skater who in the most difficult turns is like flying on skates.

Jantunen suffered from substance abuse, and was sentenced in 2014 for drunken driving and drug use. In 2015 he went into rehabilitation, completed the degree of a sports instructor and dedicated his life to drug prevention of young people at the Avominne clinic, based on the Minnesota model of treating alcoholism.

Marko Jantunen has lived three lives, and Aleksi Mäkelä's movie focuses on the middle part, "through hell". It's a brutal and terrifying account of a life torn apart, damaging everyone in Marko's wake. The movie is powerfully interpreted by Severi Saarinen and photographed by Pini Hellstedt, with top work by cast and crew.

Laitapuolen hyökkääjä can be seen as a parallel by Solar Films to their documentary biopic Karalahti (2021). Marko Jantunen and Jere Karalahti played together for instance at TPS in 1994, together with Saku Koivu.

Sports biopics are popular in Finland, and they can be divided into two categories: bad guys going through hell (Jantunen and Karalahti) and role models who don't glorify decadence (Kuningas Litmanen, Selänne).

The cinema's romanticized inferno trips are usually "rise and fall" sagas of music stars. We seem to have an insatiable need to see them fall.

A story of rise and fall is the very substance of tragedy. The definition of tragedy can be summed up: "grandeur was within his reach, but he perished due to a fatal flaw in his character". In the cinema, specialists of rise and fall have included great actors such as Emil Jannings (The Blue Angel) and Orson Welles (Citizen Kane). In biopics of music and sport heroes, rise and fall is too often reduced to a lazy formula.

Laitapuolen hyökkäjä has a flashback structure. The "now" of the story is the last day of Marko Jantunen's voyage to hell. He seems to face certain death in the hands of the mobsters. I liked most some offbeat sequences such as Jantunen's visit to a sport memorabilia store to clear some of his debt by selling his trophies. But the quote is ridiculously small.

No comments: