A poker-playing restaurateur and a Syrian refugee become friends in this “devilishly funny” (“The Guardian”) deadpan comedy.
Syrian refugee Khaled arrives in Helsinki on a cargo ship in the most incongruous fashion. Wikström, an aging bourgeois businessman, abandons his wife with bitterly droll brevity, taking to the road to pursue his restaurant dream. Inevitably, and with wondrous strangeness, their paths cross. If you weren’t already hooked by writer-director Aki Kaurismäki’s (Le Havre) oddball buddy film, once Khaled begins telling his harrowing story, you surely will be. For some 30 years, Kaurismäki’s elegant framing, concise characterization and eye for idiosyncratic details have made him a master of the deadpan. His memorable, mournful, ironic fable-like stories of losers, misfits and wanderers like Khaled and Wikström are an indelible part of cinema history. This is one of his finest. (Finland, subtitled, 2017, 1h 40m)
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