Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Thoughts about Tom of Finland movie

We have watched Tom of Finland the movie and musical! 
In this post I am reviewing how we felt about the movie. 
Both, musical and movie, were a biographical stories of Touko Laaksonen who later became Tom of Finland, pornographic gay artist and later freedom fighter of homosexual rights.

Here's a little teaser trailer. 
It was only one I found in English.

Let's start with movie Tom of Finland (dir. Dome Karukoski) since we went to watch it first. Focus point of story and general atmosphere was quite serious and gloomy; truly a traditional Finnish drama. Needless to say we're not big fans of the style but it works on some levels in biography films. Movie starts with ending of Finland's Continuation War. The army part ends rather quickly even though it was quite important time of Touko's life and thus we were little surprised from this decision. I mean, his status as a war veteran pops in here and there but maybe we would have liked to get more in touch with this subject. 
Tom of Finland naturally had kissing, sex and eroticism which was fine. We expected Touko to get beaten more than once. It was a nice surprise because I think Finland in 60s wasn't the most sexually liberated. Movie also had some unnecessary scenes which existence raised more question that didn't even need an answer. They were not anything major but for a student/professional they were just confusing.

Movie was hard to follow. The general structure was really odd almost poetic. Odd decision when looking at every other aspect like for example cinematography which was ordinary to say the least. This why we thought that "poetic" dramaturgy didn't really suit the story. The passing of time was beyond difficult to follow and most of the relevant information was delivered through dialogue (which should be avoided when making a movie). About dialogue it must be said that we were bothered by the fact how side character's didn't speak with Turku dialect. Reasoning for Touko and Kaija was believable since they were teacher's kids. 

It's understandable of course and let me explain why. As an actor line's are naturally most difficult and important part to deliver. Considering they have to focus in so much different aspects, adding a strange dialect doesn't help a performance. Often director decides to leave such "non important parts storywise" to backseat in order to help actor. So they can reach desired emotion or expression which is of course a lot more important.  

Touko (starred by Pekka Strang)
(screenshot from trailer)

The costume design was amazing though. To be fair Kaija's (Touko's sister) fashion style was best way to tell the passing of time. Her 70s and 80s clichés were spot on! Kaija's character was very believable the conflict between her and Touko was extraordinarily realistic. We thought that Touko was little too masculine because we don't buy that 100% and on the other hand Nipa was little too feminine. We understand "modern movie gay relationship roles" but considering this happens in 60s-70s Finland... Yeah maybe not.
Casting was all around good and especially Kake (eng. Mike) was phenomenal. His smirk in that fetish leather cop outfit was priceless. It made us smile every time.

Kaija (starred by Jessica Grabowsky)
(screenshot from trailer)

"Nipa" (starred by Lauri Tikkanen)
(screenshot from trailer)

In the end movie was little bit too "Finnish style" in our opinion. It doesn't make a bad movie though and this important movie should every Finn go watch and support. Truth is that Touko was respected war veteran. More than old conservative people like to admit. 
I am not on behalf of war but manhood (& womanhood) of homosexuals.

Thank you for reading!
I am continuing this post at second part where I cover the musical and come to conclusion about the two!

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting that people want to ignore his war service. As with Alan Turing, people seem happy to ignore the important contributions homosexual people make!


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