FILM: Miami (Zaida Bergroth – Glasgow Film Festival 2018)
There comes a time in any film-goer’s career when murder is the only appropriate reaction. Murder most horrid visited upon the vile bodies you are forced to share a space with. And so it is, in this smallest of small cinemas, GFT3 – a glorified screening room – that half the time spent in the company of this excellent thriller from Finland is spent plotting death from above. Suffice to say, legal indignities are only avoided due to extreme self-control. People really are a curse to festivals.
As it is, in the interests of bodily integrity, I urge all members of the public to consider the wisdom of being a hippy in a 40-seater cinema doing your dreadlocks for over an hour in the gloom. With headphones on, lank hair flapping and flailing in the faces of nearby unfortunates The less said about the gruesome twosome who decide it wise to arrive late to the micro-venue with a full complement of McDonald’s happy meals wafting about, the better. You were lucky not to be tossed out into the inclement and ever-worsening blizzard to become your own McFlurry.
Apart from all that rubbish – is Miami any good? Well, yes, actually it is. Zaida Bergroth has crafted an on point, Nordic-style film-blanc that nevertheless stands out because it doesn’t stick to the established tropes. There may be lots of snow, it may look cold and people may be a bit inscrutable…but there are also sudden jarring splashes of colour, waggling bodies, all too human passion and a stonking great clubby soundtrack. Miami is superior exploitation cinema from Lapland.
In a nutshell, the film is a crushing together of a family drama involving two reunited sisters and efforts to escape the fact that one of ’em owes a bad man a huge amount of cash. Arctic blackmail ensues and off we go. Pretty straightforward stuff but the flowering of the relationship between the two – played excellently by Krista Kosonen and Sonja Kuittinen– provides layer upon layer of interest above and beyond the bags of money tomfoolery. The interplay between them is touching and often surprising in direction. When the road to the left is clearly signposted…off to the right we go. Nicely done and manages to keep our small audience distracted from the loons in our midst.
A beautiful, exciting and affecting film picked up from the Toronto film festival and a welcome addition to the programme at Glasgow 2018.
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