Tuesday, December 10, 2013
A poker-faced black comedy about a young woman’s exploitation and revenge, pared to 70 minutes of perfection. With searing economy, Aki Kaurismaki lays bare the deadened existence of his wallflower heroine, who finds a temporary escape from her tedious, assembly-line job and her loutish parents in the arms of an affluent but dubious Prince Charming. The mortified heroine may remind you of a Bresson martyr, but when she’s dumped by her man, she’s anything but passive in her revenge. In one of his bleakest and most heartbreaking works, Kaurismaki mixes deadpan wit with depth charges of feeling.