Lights In The Dusk review

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Set in a bleak, industrialised Helsinki so grim you almost wish a famine would come along to brighten things up, the concluding part of Aki Kaurismäki’s ‘Loser Trilogy’ is essentially a ’40s B-movie laced with existential angst. Tackling the subject of loneliness with the same cool yet compassionate gaze he brought to Drifting Clouds and The Man Without A Past’s explorations of unemployment and homelessness, it’s a slight but effective exercise in heightened social realism from a Finnish filmmaker who’d probably relish being dubbed an acquired taste. He certainly lives up to that tag with this gloomy tale of a sad-sack security guard (Janne Hyytiäinen) duped by a gangster’s moll (Maria Järvenhelmi) into doing time for someone else’s crime. While the film doesn’t lack Kaurismäki’s usual vein of humour, how much you take away from this brooding fable will depend on your tolerance for mordant pathos.

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