In Kaurismäki’s drolly existential crime drama, a coal miner attempts to leave behind a provincial life of inertia and economic despair, only to get into ever deeper trouble. Yet a minor-key romance with a hilariously dispassionate meter maid might provide a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
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Ariel is another black comedy from Kaurismaki as part of his depressing Proleteriat Trilogy. Kaurismaki and Jarmusch have time and time again delivered solid dry-humour-stricken films for misers like me. Ariel is one of them. Part-noir, part-black-comedy, the film is interesting, gripping and simultaneously very funny (and well-shot).
Dry humor can take time to get used to. This is super-dry. It's a bit of a no-complain, no-explain world, because you're trying to say as little as humanly possible. In this world you also make quick decisions, because thinking might involve some type of inner dialogue, and we don't do that here.
There's more action in the first five minutes of this than most of Kaurismaki's movies put together! There are explosions, a-and guns, and knives, and all sorts of crap! Anyway, droll comedy about a detached couple that come together and decide, after the man goes to prison, to break free of their proletariat life and go to Mexico--in mostly typical deadpan Kaurismaki style. A great soundtrack, of course.
Matti Pelonpaa is such a badass, though I question the decision to have him bend down for the money and take his eyes off those guys. Nobody in that situation would do that, especially not a convict. Still, an overall great film, and my favorite of the "Proletarian Trilogy."