This small, simple, great film by the Finnish director arrives in Italy soon with Lucky Red. Ever more essential, ever more minimalist, ever more full of cinema and feeling. The review of Fallen Leaves by Federico Gironi.
There is a He and a She. It doesn’t matter what their names are: for a long time they even ignore each other’s names. It matters that they are two losers, two proletarians. He is a worker, sleeps in a shack, drinks too much. She works in a supermarket, but they fire her because she took home an expired sandwich destined for the waste bin.
He too will end up out of work, because of alcohol. One way or another they will carry on. Above all, in one way or another they will meet, they will continue to meet thanks to fate, and because of fate they will be destined to get lost, find each other, get lost again.
He and she move in silence, with effort but determination, in the world of Aki Kaurismäki, ever more minimal, ever more essential, ever more full of feeling.
“A gentle tragicomedy”, it was said of this film.
A kindness that is very, very close to poetry. The poetry of everyday life.
A tragicomedy that inexorably leads you to root for this unlikely couple, so unfortunate and so dignified, so tried by life but so imperturbable in their silent resignation to bear every blow inflicted on them.
A cheer that keeps you in suspense, that makes you shake in the armchair at the umpteenth mockery of the case, as if you were there to shout “Turn around” to Julie Christie at the end of the Doctor Zhivago.
Fallen Leaves it’s a movie where he and she go to see The Dead don’t Die Of Jim Jarmusch and another spectator, leaving the cinema says “He reminded me Diary of a country curate Of Bresson”. “A me Until the last breath Of Godard”, a friend replies.
Because Fallen Leaves is also a comedy.
E Fallen Leaves is a film in which you adopt a dog. She calls him Chaplin.
The names of these four directors were not placed there by chance (and others could be mentioned thanks to artfully placed posters). Self Kaurismäki there he put in his film is why in your film, perhaps at times, perhaps in some nuances, there is also, in part, their cinema. The essence, the aroma of their cinema.
Then sure, there is Kaurismäki.
Unmistakable in the style, in the faces, in the atmospheres that it is capable of creating. Unmistakable in the story of a marginal and perhaps squalid humanity, which however emerges bright from the squalor of the world thanks to its being so full of humanity. Of kindness, of respect, of love. With a sobriety that is certainly not alcoholic (although something changes here), but that is of tones, words, feelings.
The leaves fall, but that hope does not die. She proceeds with difficulty, maybe, but she doesn’t die.
Even if the radio talks continuously about the tragedy of war, even if capitalism is increasingly ruthless, even if chance takes its toll and the vices and fears we carry with us risk ruining everything. With a little kindness, with a little love, hope doesn’t die.
And in the end, at the end of 80 minute specimens made of simplicity, cinema and beauty, there’s also a few tears to wipe away.