Toivon tuolla puolen (2017)

Toivon tuolla puolen (2017)

GENRESComedy,Drama
LANGFinnish,English,Arabic,Swedish,Japanese
ACTOR
Ville VirtanenTommi KorpelaKati OutinenDome Karukoski
DIRECTOR
Aki Kaurismäki

SYNOPSICS

Toivon tuolla puolen (2017) is a Finnish,English,Arabic,Swedish,Japanese movie. Aki Kaurismäki has directed this movie. Ville Virtanen,Tommi Korpela,Kati Outinen,Dome Karukoski are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2017. Toivon tuolla puolen (2017) is considered one of the best Comedy,Drama movie in India and around the world.

Khaled, syrian refugee stows away on a freighter to Helsinki. Meanwhile, Wikström is a traveling salesman who wins big at a poker table and buys himself a restaurant with the proceeds. When the authorities turn down his application for asylum, Khaled is forced underground and Wikström finds him sleeping in the yard behind his restaurant. He offers him a job and a roof over his head and, for a while, they form a Utopian union with the restaurant's waitress, the chef and his dog.

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Toivon tuolla puolen (2017) Reviews

  • Moral Clarity in Plurality

    ilpohirvonen2017-02-12

    Finnish director, Aki Kaurismäki has successfully established himself as a respectable auteur in world cinema. When it was announced after the release of Kaurismäki's last film "Le Havre" (2011) that it would be followed by another film covering similar topics and themes, audiences have been anxiously waiting for his next effort. Thus, six years later, comes "The Other Side of Hope" (2017, "Beyond Hope" literally), a film that Kaurismäki wanted to get out before it was too late. One should not be surprised by such openness about the film's political agenda given Kaurismäki's usual tendencies to do so. Nor should one be surprised by the fact that "The Other Side of Hope" is everything one could expect from Kaurismäki: an immediately recognizable film belonging to the canon of his oeuvre. While some Finnish critics have been disappointed by the lack of innovation or regeneration from Kaurismäki, they have failed to appreciate that often the best artists keep doing the "same" over and over again -- think of Ozu and Hawks, for instance, both of whom Kaurismäki adores tremendously. Like "Le Havre", "The Other Side of Hope" also tells the story about a refugee encountering a European local. The small port town of Le Havre in France has been changed to Helsinki in Finland and the North-African refugee to a Syrian. The film follows Khaled's (played by Sherwan Haji) day- to-day activities in the red tape of immigration policy, his attempts to track down his lost sister, and his conflicts with locals as well as a parallel story about a Finnish man (played by Kaurismäki regular Sakari Kuosmanen) who leaves his wife and starts up a restaurant which eventually leads him to meet Khaled. As mentioned above, one can recognize the film as Kaurismäki's instantly. The cinematography is often static by nature (even camera movement is rather mechanic), the acting is deadpan and the actors' delivery is laconic to the bone, there is nostalgic popular music, and mise-en-scène is characterized by vintage elements from old cars to type writers as well as classic Hollywood lighting. These cinematic means often give an ironic impression which, nonetheless, never reduces the film to a parody of itself; it manages to take itself seriously while joking around, so to speak. They also constitute an extremely economic narrative where a wordless act such as the placing of a ring on a kitchen table can say more than a thousand words. In terms of tone, Kaurismäki's film lies securely in between of tragedy and comedy, cynicism and humanism, melancholy and laughter. In this world of deep contradictions -- not only in tone, of course, but also in, say, the co- existence of vintage elements in mise-en-scène with modern technology -- Kaurismäki's characters often find themselves to be strangers. They are strangers essentially in two senses. First, they are strangers of society; they are thugs, loners, divorced, unemployed, homeless, and refugees. Second, they are strangers of existence; their being in the world is twisted in the sense that they talk absurdly little, do not notice the absurdities of the fictive world with its contradictions, stand still for long periods of time, and can suddenly announce that they will move to Mexico City for a change of scenery without giving rise to any trace of astonishment in their interlocutors. It seems to me that Kaurismäki's phenomenology of strangeness, if I may give it such a hasty word, has gained significant new dimensions in his contemporary cinema of global ethics. The strangers of "The Other Side of Hope" find comrades in each other without a need to announce it. They are the global working class with no nation. They are a plural bunch whose shared humanity overcomes individual differences. In a key scene echoing "Le Havre", there is a moving montage of human faces as the refugees in the reception center listen to a wordless ballad by Khaled. It is a very Kaurismäki-esque moment of cinematic personality, but here the strangeness seems to articulate heavily moral meanings in particular. While the film is unapologetically moral and political in its message and agenda, it also comes across as a good piece of cinema with a poetry all its own (that is, the cinematic poetry of Kaurismäki's cinema in general, to be precise). Like many other films by Kaurismäki, sea is an essential element, which might represent the film's success in finding a place between poetry and politics. "The Other Side of Hope" begins with a beautiful shot of the Baltic Sea. To Peter von Bagh, a Finnish film critic and historian, all cinematic images of sea are masterful. The beauty of the sea is easily captured in a way which makes everyone a master. Yet, in order for us to care about these images, something has to happen -- either in terms of story, theme, or aesthetics -- in their appropriate contexts. In this sense, Kaurismäki delivers. The other side of hope, or its vague image in the world beyond, finds its elusive face on the surface of the sea. When Peter von Bagh passed away in 2014, Kaurismäki promised to dedicate his next film to von Bagh's memory, adding that "only if it is good enough." He did.

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  • A film with a fantastic personality

    paulijcalderon2017-03-17

    There's no doubt about it, Aki is back once again with a wonderful film. "The Other Side of Hope" basically tells two stories. First there's an older Finnish man who opens a small restaurant. And then there's a Syrian man who finds his way to Finland in order to start a new life. As you can probably guess, these two stories find a way to connect. And in a surprisingly good and heartwarming way. It was interesting to see the two cultures interact with each other. I love the kindness that so many characters bring with them. The film finds an excellent way to mix humour with drama while also bringing up some relevant issues. Many of the restaurant scenes are very funny and they made me laugh. While other scenes like when a character plays music from his homeland one final time before being deported almost brought a little tear to my eye. The entire thing is still packed with all the classic Kaurismäki elements. You can almost do a drinking game; "Point out all of Aki's personal tropes". I have to say that some of my favorite parts were whenever they were trying to change the restaurant in order to fit in with the modern times. It was almost metaphorical. It's like the filmmakers themselves had never changed, but the world around them did. Timo Salminen's cinematography is on point with excellent use of framing and colors. I admire that they still use film instead of digital. Aki is very similar to Tarantino in that subject. He has said that if they weren't able to use film he would stop making movies all together. I hope this is not his final movie. I feel like he has many stories left to tell. I'll be here waiting for whenever a new one comes out, because I never get tired of the personality that comes with his work.

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  • Kaurismäki tells a story, to his perennial template of deadpan humour, old-time music, and drab settings, of a Syrian refugee

    crculver2017-10-09

    In Aki Kaurismäki's 2016 film TOIVON TUOLLA PUOLEN ("The Other Side of Hope"), the Finnish auteur continues a theme he explored in LE HAVRE from five years earlier: refugees fleeing to Europe and forced to survive when heartless officials and some locals are against them. While that earlier film was shot in the comparatively exotic setting of the eponymous French port, TOIVON TUOLLA PUOLEN returns to Kaurismäki's familiar stomping grounds of downtown Helsinki. The film consists of two converging plot lines. In one, the aging salesman Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen, a longtime member of Kaurismäki's acting stable) leaves his wife, wins a lot of money in a poker game, and decides to open a restaurant. In the other, the Syrian refugee Khaled (Sherwan Haji) arrives in Helsinki after fleeing war-torn Aleppo and wandering across half of Europe, but he is worried about his sister that he got separated with along the way. Wikström and Khaled eventually meet and become friends -- or the closest thing to friends that Kaurismäki's exaggeratedly cold and morose Finns can get to each other. Before that, however, the Wikström plot line serves to inject some humour, albeit of an extremely deadpan sort, into a film that, though Khaled, explores the depressing lives of refugees who are shuffled from one center to another and forced to wait for their cases to be processed. For three decades now, Kaurismäki has made all his films to a very distinctive template that virtually never varies. Its characters speak a minimum of dialogue to each other and show little expression on their faces. The sets are drab in colour and deliberately anachronistic, with gadgets, vehicles or clothes from the 1950s alongside computers and mobile phones from our time. At some point, a band will appear on stage playing oldies rock, blues, or Finnish tangos as the characters look on. TOIVON TUOLLA PUOLEN doesn't stray from that template either. Still, the script has enough fresh moments to it that it will feel worthwhile even to longtime Kaurismäki films who have sat through this template many times before. Some of the humorous bits are laugh-out-loud funny, but overall this does feel like a darker film than most of the director's work. It is ultimately a choked, restrained cry of rage at the way that refugees are treated, by a Nordic society that prides itself on fairness, equality and charity. While Kaurismäki is roughly on the left politically, several of his films have attacked the Finnish welfare state for its opaque bureaucracy and its reduction of human beings to mere papers in a government file. This film continues that critique by depicting the refugees, who come from many countries but manage to band together to lend each other help, as the sort of neighborly solidarity that Kaurismäki prefers to faceless bureaucracy. I personally wouldn't find this the best introduction to Kaurismäki. His earlier film MIES VAILLA MENNEISYYTTÄ ("The Man Without a Past") depicted with more meat on its bone a down-on-his-luck man lost among bureaucracy, while the über-idiosyncratic romantic comedy VAROJA PARATIISISSA ("Shadows in Paradise") is one of Kaurismäki's best achievements in deadpan humour. Still, TOIVON TUOLLA PUOLEN seems to tell a story universal enough to pull on everyone's heartstrings and is worth seeing.

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  • Other Side of Hope

    indiecinemamagazine2017-02-23

    The Other Side of Hope tells the story of a Syrian refugee and the challenges he meets in Finland. The film features his typical cinematographic style but the picture itself is disappointing. It is clear that Kaurismäki is much more at ease describing Finnish people. His Finnish characters are very funny and colorful, however when it comes to the refugee characters, he becomes shy and unimaginative. The main character Khaled is probably a very good person but he is a very boring character. More than that he does not look like a refugee; he looks neither tired, hungry or frustrated. He reminds one of a successful salesman or a post-doctorate student. His story is not compelling and his acting is not convincing. Kaurismäki received a specific commission and when making this politically correct movie he was afraid of making fun of foreigners or their religion. He even made the character an atheist which is highly unlikely for people from this country. Occasionally the film was funny, but only in the segments featuring Finns, The plot is not very interesting and does not have any twists or surprises. When undertaking this theme, Kaurismäki has shown that he does not know the topic or want to know it. Perhaps the biggest motivating factor was the funding he received to make this extremely politically correct picture. Read more at: http://indie-cinema.com/2017/02/the-other-side-of-hope/

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  • No website describes movie attractively, unjustly scaring potential viewers away. Allow undercooled humor to grow on you. Berlinale jury awarded Silver Bear for best director

    JvH482017-03-03

    Saw this at the Berlinale 2017, where it was part of the official competition for the Golden Bear. The synopsis on the festival website was not really promising, but my prejudice disappeared gradually during the screening. Although the movie has a certain inclination to become a fairy tale where everyone will live happily ever after, the ending has some darker sides to downplay the assumed optimistic story. One of these darker sides lies in the several times appearing "Finland security" men, who are up to no good. Our first main protagonist Khaled is seeking asylum in Finland. From the outside, it looks like a very clean process as far as shown to us. The idle waiting time related to the asylum application procedure does hide the rough edges we often read about, namely that asylum seekers among themselves are making trouble when seeing others with a different religion or other political position, or even worse when seeing GLBT behavior that they are not prepared to allow. Intolerance can be very problematic here, given that the people are packed together, while at the same time being bored to death, doomed to wait, unable to do anything useful. Due to their numbers and possible variations in asylum seekers, it is a sheer impossible task to sort and separate them in such a way that such troubles are prevented. In this movie, however, the asylum seekers are living harmoniously together, and help each other where they can without seeking favors in return. What does Finland do what we apparently are doing wrong in The Netherlands?? Our second main protagonist Wikström follows a completely different path. On a random morning, he leaves his wedding ring and house keys with his wife, who is clearly alcohol addicted. He sells his stock but keeps the storage space (will become unexpectedly useful later). What also proves useful is his poker face, and he succeeds in multiplying his amount of cash considerably, to the extent that he can buy a restaurant including staff. The capabilities of the restaurant staff that he takes over with the rest of the inventory and furniture, do not look very promising from the outset, but he keeps them nevertheless. For the first 30 minutes or so, the stories of above two main protagonists run their completely separate course. We see them in turns, both paths clearly delineated, simply by having other people and another decor visible. After his asylum request being denied, and just before being transported to a plane to be sent back, Khaled escapes and starts an uncertain life on the street. He is found sleeping between the trashcans by fresh restaurateur Wikström, from which moment on their lives become mingled. The restaurant business does not go as well as may be hoped. Given the quality of the staff that he inherited when buying the restaurant, it can be no surprise from the first day on. For example, when someone orders sardines from the menu, that seems to mean that he receives a half opened can. More humor follows later on when they try out different restaurant types, e.g. sushi being prepared out of a cooking book. Other experiments also hardly succeed. A surprise inspection is handled in a way not exactly by-the-book but they pass. These humoristic scenes are intermixed with the more serious main line of the story. The story includes a series of lucky strikes and happy coincidences that is overwhelming, bordering on statistically impossible. But otherwise there would have been no story to tell, so who am I to complain. The musical fragments we witnessed, most in cafés or restaurants, even one where Khaled plays the sitar (is that the proper name?), albeit not relevant to the story itself, are included (I think) as ornamentation or as local folklore, or simply happened to be available and deemed a waste when left out. All in all, this movie is much better than what the average synopsis promises. On the other hand, it is not easy to describe what it is exactly that makes the movie attractive. The serious undertone cannot be overlooked, given the hostilities encountered by Khaled, and the motivation for the denial of his asylum request is also a farce, based on wrong facts that we see refuted on TV, and gives Finland a bad name. However, the parallel story with Wikström and his restaurant takes good care of ample relief from the heavy material. I usually lower my expectations when a book or movie builds on two or more parallel story lines, by assuming that none of the stories could offer sufficient material to stand on its own feet, but this time my prejudice proved unjustified. The way both stories were mixed without disturbing the logical flow of events, may be one of the reasons this movie was awarded by the International Jury of the Berlinale 2017.

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