I loved Mikko Rimminen’s Pussikaljaromaani, a novel that combined utter slackery with industrial strength verbal acrobatics. My expectations of Pussikaljaelokuva, the movie of the book were on the mild side, and the result was indeed lukewarm. Not exactly disappointing, but nowhere near the lofty heights of the original.
Though the original plot is retained (where a trio of aimless young men spend a lazy day in Kallio, the slackeringest neighborhood in Helsinki), the story is muddled by additions. Neither a series of comical encounters with policemen nor a budding romance is worthwhile, and both sap the energy generated by the leading men. Indeed, the delightful streamofconsciousness of the original has been toned down, in favour of a more conventional approach.
The story takes place on a single summer day in Helsinki. And the environs are shown in their beauty, ugliness and eccentricity. A full bonus point on account of the imagery – claimed by anybody for whom the streets, bars and passersby in Kallio are more than just scenery.
Awkward things happen, to an appropriate soundtrack.
Not a movie for everybody, but an impressive debut for Ville Jankeri, and good clean fun for two hours.