Finland, 1962. Boxer Olli Mäki is 26 years old and in love. He comes from a humble background – his manager Elis Ask however wants to turn him into a glamorous boxing star. Olli is expected to be the first Finnish boxer to defeat the US-American world champion.
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Camera d'or winner at Cannes. Kuosmanen's debut film tells the story of Olli Maki and his title fight against Davey Moore in the early 60's. Instead of being the atypical boxing film Kuosmanen instead centers in on what really makes Maki tick; mainly his love and romance with Raija his home town sweetheart. Lovingly shot in b&w this character driven film has a sort of innocent charm but lacks revelation.
A wonderful, small big film about love, ambition and boxing. The script is great: it gives the movie room to breath and builds up tension with simple issues (eg. will Olli be under 57 kg in due time). The dialogue works well, the characters feel very real, and the on top of it, the actors do a great work, especially of the two main characters, Olli and Raija.