A night security guard is conned by a femme fatale and some other dodgy characters into implicating himself in criminal activity.
Aki Kaurismäki concludes the ‘Loser’ trilogy he started with Drifting Clouds and The Man Without A Past with this taut tribute to Chaplin, Hitchcock, Fassbinder and the B-noir.
The plot follows an inevitable progression, as security guard Janne Hyytiäinen is duped by a femme fatale and only learns the value of a female fast-food vendor after he’s done time as the patsy in a jewel robbery. But the pleasures here lie in the tone and the visuals, with a mostly nostalgic soundtrack and lustrous photography reinforcing the melancholy that confines Hyytiäinen to an isolation he’s too wilfully introspective to escape. It may be self-conscious in places, but this is still textbook Kaurismäki.
Ignore accusations that this is sluggish and inconsequential. This is textbook Kaurismäki, from its drolly laconic style to its delicious cinematic nostalgia.