Hellsinki

2009

Biography / Crime / Drama

83
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 3,228

Synopsis


Downloaded times
January 12, 2021

Cast

Peter Franzén as Krisu
Pihla Viitala as Monika
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.22 GB
1280*720
Finnish 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
133 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.52 GB
1920×1080
Finnish 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
133 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by random_avenger 8 / 10 / 10

Rööperi

Every country has its mainstream and underground filmmakers; in Finland the most well-known and popular modern director of all might be Aleksi Mäkelä. Many of his films, mostly produced by Markus Selin of Solar Films, have achieved great popularity and often feature the most famous Finnish actors in lead roles. My own favourite of Mäkelä's work is probably The Tough Ones (1999), but his latest crime drama Rööperi is very watchable as well, an opinion shared by the common public (the film was the most watched domestic movie in its year of release). The story is loosely based on a non-fiction book about the life of a former criminal Tom Sjöberg. At the beginning in 1966, Tomppa (Samuli Edelmann) and his friends Krisu and Kari (Peter Franzén and Kari Hietalahti) are getting fed up with the small scale of their illegal liquor selling business in Punavuori, Helsinki ("Rööperi" of the title). With hard fists and even harder attitudes they expand their territories and make more money, but are also aware that their criminal lifestyle can only have three different outcomes: going straight, prison or death. Tomppa is the most responsible of the bunch and opens a sex shop to earn a (somewhat) honest living for himself and his wife Monika (Pihla Viitala), while Kari cannot really get a grip on life after losing his mother. Krisu, in turn, becomes involved in drug trading with devastating consequences. Markus Selin productions have always had an "international" feel to them, meaning that they have spent good money to make the films look professional and that the production values are decent. Rööperi is not an exception; the Helsinki of the 1960s and 70s looks very stylish, largely thanks to the experienced cinematographer Pini Hellstedt. Especially the streets in the menacing opening scene bask in beautiful green light and many of the shady interiors are handsomely shadowy. Certain camera angles and movements are also showier than in average Finnish movies, but luckily do not cross the border into annoying, distracting trickery. The core of the film, the story, is fairly interesting too. The very spine of the plot is Tomppa's development from a street thug to an increasingly honest businessman despite personal tragedies and his feelings of responsibility regarding his wife and friends who just cannot see where their lives are heading at until it is already too late. Tomppa is very nicely portrayed by the charismatic singer-actor Samuli Edelmann, but Kari Hietalahti and Peter Franzén don't fall behind one bit in their roles of Kari and Krisu respectively – the latter's performance as the miserable junkie actually belongs among the best I have seen in any recent Finnish film. The supporting actors do good work as well, particularly Pekka Valkeejärvi as the brutal rivaling criminal Uki and Juha Veijonen as the fatherly police lieutenant Koistinen. The one exception would be the way too young-looking Jasper Pääkkönen in the role of the mobster Korppu: he makes without a doubt the least convincing gangster boss I have ever seen in any movie. In spite of the mostly great acting and carefully created visuals, some things hold Rööperi back from being a really great film. For one thing, I feel the use of music is often too openly manipulative, even corny. The presumably exaggerated badassness of the antagonists Uki and Korppu does not always ring true and evokes feelings of style over substance at points, but on the other hand it is good that Finnish cinema is not always so afraid of stylization and flair. In any case, Tomppa's story is worth telling with or without flashiness and the movie never feels boring despite the 120+ minute runtime. The first time I saw it at the theater I didn't care for Rööperi much, but after a rewatch on DVD it started seeming a lot more dramatic and interesting than before. Perhaps a less tough, more low-key approach could have improved the movie, but I like it as it is now as well.

Reviewed by ichabod81 4 / 10 / 10

Wants to be Goodfellas SO badly..

The summary pretty much.. erh.. sums it up. The film follows a group of friends who take over the illegal distribution of hard liquor in Helsinki in the mid 60s. What follows is a typical story of the rise and fall of these wanna be gangsters. The movie hardly offers anything new to the tired formula, but there are some good performances such as Edelmann in the leading role and especially the ALWAYS funny Hietalahti in a supporting role. For once, Franzen does his part a bit too over the top, but that's nothing compared to the disaster that is Pääkkönen's "mob boss". The guy looks like he's 12 and the role is passionless and feels phoned in. This will no doubt be a great success here in Finland, but the fact that it's the best of the worst, doesn't make it a good film.

Reviewed by rlaine 4 / 10 / 10

A sum of it's parts

Not many reviews of this title, considering it was probably the most successful Finnish movie of 2009. So why not compensate with a bit longer one. It's not an easy one to review. There are good things going on, but there's also a lot of things that didn't work. For me at least. I have to say I was also a bit prejudiced, because you could consider Mäkelä a major blockbuster director who clearly leans more into full-on entertainment rather than deep and nuanced dramatic presentation. I'm not a huge fan if dumbed down blockbusters. The idea of up and coming gangsters bootlegging liquor in 1960's Helsinki is interesting. Much more interesting than what eventually ended up on screen. The story spans over two decades and the movie runs for two hours. The result is a collage of a lot of powerful scenes, which don't really work as a whole as good as they should. All the themes, including liquor bootlegging, domestic violence, drug trafficking and addiction, insanity, miscarriage, infertility, suicide, loneliness, murder, battery are just briefly scratched, with maybe a few exceptions. There is a strange unbalance of seemingly cool blockbuster movie and deeper drama that doesn't work very well. This combination worked much better in Mäkeläs earlier movie "Häjyt". The cast includes the same actors who have been all over Finnish cinema for the last ten years. Most of them very fine actors, but they are so plenty in this movie it just becomes a huge fest of spot-the-actor. Even the supporting cast, who some have nothing to do with the plot, are well known comedians or dramatic actors. Edelmann does a fairly good job as Tomppa. He's is not just "pretending", but actually acting the role if maybe remains a bit distant. Franzen as Krisu is quite convincing as a drug addict, but most of the time he's just way over the top. Viitala does well as Monika, but her character is eventually left as a total mystery. Interestingly comedian Hietalahti pulls up one of the most interesting characters, but he is also a victim of uninspired script writing. Pääkkönen is amazingly miscast as Korppu. Speaking of Korppu, I don't understand the need for so many opponents for Tomppa. While Uki as an old schooler is an interesting (yet irrelevant) character, he makes Korppu look like a school boy in comparison. Then there's the cops. The story would've benefited from concentrating on one baddie. Also, for quite a long into the movie, you're not really sure who's the lead, Edelmann or Franzen, while towards the end, Franzen sort of fades more to the background. Helsinki is a beautiful city, especially the area if Rööperi (Punavuori), but you don't get to see it as much as one would hope. This is probably a productional decision and you end up having a lot of scenes indoors or out of town where you can easily re-create the 60's or 70's feel with a couple of set elements to fit the era. Here lies another problem of the movie, as at times it feels as if you're watching .. well, a set. You can clearly see that the set artists have had a hell of a good time, because there are so many neat vintage elements to be seen. It's like a theme park. It's the sum of it's parts that fails. Good actors, interesting story, bad script. There are some amazingly dumb moments in the script, where the characters are just explaining what they're doing on the screen. As a whole it's an uneven bunch of "cool scenes" where the cast is just try to look "gangsta" and in between having a couple of moving and seemingly deeper scenes, which are way too short for the actors to really get into character. Pretty much everything is over the top and competing of your attention, superstar actors, camera trickery, slo-mo walking, dramatic music, powerful scenes after powerful scenes, detail rich decors. It's like a fat pizza with hundreds of toppings and you end up having hell of a stomach ache. Interesting story which would've deserved a more subtle delivery and not to be treated as a summer blockbuster, too much posing and coolness for me.

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