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Fallen Leaves

This was the third film I watched in a row, and although it was much slower paced than the other two films, it still captured my full attention throughout. The film is set in Helsinki and follows Ansa, who is a single woman trying to navigate her day to day by finding work from a zero hour contract position at a supermarket to other workplaces that come with their own challenges, and sometimes rather bizarre (but amusing) situations. She has a chance encounter with Holappa, a single depressed man, who is facing his own personal challenges with work and alcohol.

I really enjoyed the stillness of the film and the strange humour, as both characters often drift towards each other, and then apart, and somehow manage to cross paths again. I absolutely loved the cinema scene in which they watch the hilarious Jim Jarmusch film The Dead Don't Die, which I had recently brought up in conversation, so this tickled me. Dialogue is often sparse, but doesn't feel forced. One understands very quickly that the characters are just two quite socially odd people trying to live a normal life and get by to make ends meet and to make sense of the world in their own way.

The humour in the film often made me smile, because it always naturally came with the dialogue and demeanour of the characters. It's not an obvious kind of humour, but the type where you carefully observe two people who are clearly in love. The film often makes you feel like a spectator, observing the private lives of all the characters presented in the film. It has a soft intimacy, which doesn't seem deliberate at all because of how natural it feels. I also enjoyed how Fallen Leaves felt like it was filmed 20 years ago. It instantly felt like a timeless classic. As a fan of Wong Kar-wai, this definitely felt like it fit in that realm of time and love, albeit with an entirely different colour palette. I've also been describing it as a clean version of Taxi Driver had it been a romantic drama - whatever that means.


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