The film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. He starts his life from scratch, living in container dwellings, finding clothes with help from the Salvation Army and making friends with the poor.
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.
At this point Kaurismäki has already really found his style. The camera work is awesome. Story is told with simple shots and with simple dialog. The acting isn't stiff, it's pensive. The characters say only what they want to say but nothing more, yet they'd have more to say if someone would just ask. And yes, it is very stereotypical Finnish, but don't be fooled. Finns are becoming more talkative as time passes by.