I didnt enjoy it as much as i did " Drifting clouds " Still Kaurismaki has a lot of power by building his remarkable characters. They dont express any feelings but you can have a lot of feelings for them. The man without a past is quite enigmatic, but i couldnt identify myself with his history, while drifting clouds is very suitable to our actual situations like social problems
I found it charming to a fault, because Kaurismaki wallows too much in these characters' (and impicitly a portion of Finland's) abject conditions to make a fully convincing portrait. I found his social commentary frankly jaundiced and no more sensitive, interesting or incisive than the usual lower-middle class rants about politics and the goverment one hears on populist TV-shows.
A rich humanist tale that gives the aura of archetypal depressing Scandinavian movie. The stoical exterior though is only a tool to showcase Kaurismaki's unique brand of humor mixing poverty, love and American rock n roll together. Proving that hope and the small ridiculous joys in life are invoked no matter how depressing a situation may appear to be.
such a delight, from the humour to the Finnish indie rock to the way dialogue is shot through with smarmy non-sequiturs. what it understands (no different from Kafka, but less obsessed with despair) is that identity is groundless. nothing, be it a name, a trait, a desire, is ever 'true' or even consistent. it's an optimistic film, though--it wants to say that our empty subjectivity doesn't preclude happiness.
One of the film's theses seems to be that identity not only is a tool used by others (like states and banks) to control us, but we never really own it to begin with. Our identity is constructed for us and without the official version of it, no one knows what to do with us.