Hytti Nro 6
Laura (Seidi Haarla), a Finnish archaeologist, is excited to be taking the multi-day train journey from Moscow to Murmansk in the far north, not only to view its petroglyphs, but to share the experience with her Russian girlfriend, Irina (Dinara Drukarova). But Irina calls it off, so instead Laura finds herself sharing her sleeper compartment with a vodka-swilling skinhead, Ljoha (Yuriy Borisov), a boorish young man whose reach far exceeds his charm. The conductor is equally unsympathetic and there are no alternate berths, so Laura’s in for a long haul. Yet as the stations click by, the pair forge an uneasy truce, and even begin to trust.
It’s been a while since anyone made a really good train movie, but close quarters confinement proves just the ticket here—the subtle serio-comic shadings of the script and two super performances from Seidi Haarla and Yuriy Borisov provide vivid counterpoint in what amounts to a complementary study in loneliness. Director Juho Kuosmanen’s assured follow-up to the acclaimed The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki reminds us life is about the journey, not the destination.
Grand Prix (ex aequo), Cannes 2021
Seidi Haarla, Yuriy Borisov, Dinara Drukarova, Julia Aug, Lidia Kostina
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Photo: ©Henri Vares
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (2016)