T500FC, 466th: Ariel (Aki Kaurismaki, 1988)


Ariel is one of the modern-day depressing films that start off as realistic and ends up as something of the what ifs that is probable especially for the times that we have today. It is directed by Aki Kaurismaki who also gave us the 2003 Oscar nominated film, The Man Without A Past, Germany’s Nowhere In Africa got the plum that year.

It is a story of a man whose factory he works in closes and, obviously, he ends up jobless. With a scene that looks like one of those days during the years of U.S. depression, he takes up any work that was given to him. Now, with a little bit of life’s bad karma, even if he just defended himself, he ends up behind bars in a crime unjustly. Then, we have a number of scenes that what cinema provides for people who are in jail and something in the sense of jailbreak level.

Compassion is the best word that describes this film. You can’t help but take pity on what had happened to our anti-hero in the film. One can really sense the near hopelessness of the character though the director effectively manipulated the run of the film by not making everything too dramatic. It looks like it felt you hanging in the middle as you are not really sure if you are going to cry or just be that friend who is compassionate to the protagonist of the movie.

Despite the minimal talking used in the film, the visual itself is enough to tell the story. If you’re keen on the runtime of the film, it was really created short and everything seems to be right on the spot. No extra dialogues, no useless scenes. Everything was just direct. It was simple in a sense but a little bit more complex on the other providing us with a lot of social issues that hinder a European country with the likes of Finland. Meaning things like these happen to all people as it doesn’t matter on where you are in the social ladder.

Once in a while, it is really great to see such film. Even if you just need to watch this for once in your life, it helps you broaden your idea of foreigners and what happens to the countries that you think is just winning all their lives. Effective story-telling and concise is what this film supplied.


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