Drifting Clouds

1996 [FINNISH]

Comedy / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 91%
IMDb Rating 7.7 10 6998

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
January 27, 2021 at 03:13 PM


720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
870.58 MB
Finnish 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 34 min
P/S 1 / 4
1.75 GB
Finnish 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 34 min
P/S 2 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by slake09 9 / 10

Gloomy but good

I particularly liked Man Without A Past, by the same director, and this is much in the same vein. A couple having financial difficulties tries to make their way. Sounds like all of us. Only this couple delivers delicious witty dialogue in a deadpan style that cracks me up every time. Even their fights and make ups are so understated that it's a style all it's own. Don't look for the obvious here, it's hidden under a layer of Finnish humor so opaque that you have to watch very closely to see even a glimmer of laughter in anyone's eye.

The film is gloomy, depressing, bleak, but somehow it does your heart good. Even when things seem to be at their worst, you can't help but feel that the hardworking and honest couple will manage to somehow get back on solid ground and right with the world. You want them to. You need them to. They simply must, or your poor little heart will break.

It's hard to describe this film because nothing much seems to happen, there are only the normal setbacks of life in the low income zone, but by the end you realize that you've seen a great movie and are happy with it. What helps keep you interested are the dialogue and the understated style. For example, why do all the men wear their hair the same way? Does anyone own clothes that aren't drab? Why does all the furniture look like it's from the 1950's? All these questions and more will occur to you while watching the film and wondering if anyone will ever crack a smile.

Reviewed by MaxBorg89 10 / 10

A winning tale about "losers"

Aside from Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses, Aki Kaurismäki has never done any real sequels to his films (even though Shadows in Paradise featured one of the minor characters from Crime and Punishment). Drifting Clouds, the first entry in the acclaimed "losers" trilogy, was meant to be an exception, the script having been written specifically as a follow-up to Shadows. Sadly, Matti Pellonpää, who was eager to reprise his role as Nikander, died shortly before filming began, thus abruptly ending a working relationship with the director which had lasted 11 years and 8 movies (The Match Factory Girl and I Hired a Contract Killer were the only ones in which he did not appear prior to his death), prompting Kaurismäki to change the screenplay.

Nonetheless, there are still traces of the original project in the finished film, namely the characters played by Kati Outinen (who became the new protagonist of the story) and Sakari Kuosmanen, who retain the names they had in Shadows: Ilona and Melartin. They both work at a restaurant called Dubrovnik (as maitre d' and waiter respectively), under the supervision of Mrs. Sjöholm (Elina Salo). There are no major problems in the workplace, the only occasional disturbance being the alcohol-induced antics of the cook Lajunen (Markku Peltola, who later played the lead in the trilogy's second act, The Man Without a Past). Then one day Mrs. Sjöholm announces the restaurant is being handed over to a new proprietor, meaning the old staff's services are no longer required. Everyone faces unemployment their own way: Lajunen buries himself in booze ("Where are you going?" he gets asked one evening; "As far as the Kossu lasts" he replies, referring to Finland's most popular drink) and Melartin starts looking for another job, while Ilona is confident her husband's income will be enough for the two to lead a decent life. Unfortunately, Lauri (Kari Väänänen) loses his job as well, causing despair and frustration as his wife tries to come up with a solution that could satisfy everybody.

As usual, Kaurismäki depicts contemporary Finnish society with a very pessimistic eye, never once flinching away from the sadness of the situation. The high point of this is reached in Esko Nikkari's cameo, a scene drenched in cynicism and cruelly black humor where the great character actor tells Outinen (always at her best in these pictures) that once you're past the age of 30, you're completely worthless in the business world. "You're 56" she reminds him; "Yes, but I have connections" comes the painfully dry answer. It's a dramatic sequence which reflects what really goes on in the world every day, albeit filtered through Kaurismäki's peculiar view on life.

And yet, for all the misery that permeates the picture, Drifting Clouds is actually the most optimistic of the "losers" films: perhaps remembering what the movie was originally meant to be, the director fills almost every frame (minus the Nikkari scene) with gags, in order to lighten the mood. And the conclusion stands out as one of the most cheerful Kaurismäki has ever shot, maybe because that is the kind of ending in which Pellonpää, to whom the film is dedicated, would have given another of his understated, hugely affecting, unforgettable performances.

Reviewed by squelcho 9 / 10

We'll eat wallpaper. People lived on it before.

Another beautifully observed vignette from the mind of Aki Kaurismaki. Kati Outinen may not be the most beautiful woman in Europe, but like Guiletta Massima, she owns every scene she's in. Kaurismaki's usual suspects deliver a tight ensemble piece drenched in bathos, and inspired by the indomitable spirit of honest working people. The fatalism that cloaks the the lives of the central characters as they fall on successively harder times, until all they have left is their dignity. The sound of the unseen roulette wheel in the unseen casino interior is the death rattle for their minimal life savings. Naturally, with this being a modern fable, Kaurismaki will not let his heroes suffer in eternity, and manages to engineer a happy ending, albeit one with a heartstopping pirouette.

The score is a delight, from the piano player's melancholy jazz introduction to the tango lament at the last night of the Dubrovnik. Kaurismaki has an ear for haunting songs, and always sets them perfectly in context.

As noted by other reviewers, this is the complete antithesis to the crash, bang, wallop, ersatz hysteria of Hollywood. Personally, I find it it all the more thrilling for that. It's a white-knuckle ride through the despair of sudden unemployment, tinged with touching fidelity, optimism and above all, dignity. Bravo, Aki.

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