There aren’t really any surprises in The Other Side of Hope; it’s more like witnessing the ongoing cultivation of a humane philosophy. But the film is devilishly funny, economically constructed (the demise of Wikström’s marriage is shown in wordless images) and decked out in the director’s dismal palette of cobalt blue, moss green and burnt-marmalade orange.
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As economical in his visual style as he is with his dialogue, Kaurismaki makes the most out of having his actors do the least.
It’s a deeply humane film, as well as a quietly hilarious one.
Winsome, sweet, and often very funny, The Other Side of Hope is more of the same from Kaurismäki, and thank God for that.
While the film depicts a world seldom far removed from grim reality, the sly strain of humor keeps it buoyant, nowhere more so than in Kaurismaki’s deadpan dialogue, delivered with affectless aplomb by his marvelous cast.
Somehow one of the effects of our current state of topsy-turviness has been to bring us closer into alignment with Kaurisma?ki’s skewed vision; if his movies are all, in their way, like pictures hanging crooked on a wall, with The Other Side of Hope we don’t have to tilt our heads anymore: the whole house has moved around us.
As long as Kaurismäki presents this tidy a vision (aesthetically and morally), he’ll continue to be an engagingly hermetic art-house curio impersonating an artist.
Using comedy to chase away the despair of modern life, The Other Side of Hope is a thoroughly satisfying and distinctively lovable film.
Hope is as contemporary and vital a film as you’re likely to find in 2017, but it’s also one of the funniest and most classically (not to mention beautifully) cinematic too.
As a writer, Kaurismäki has a precious knack for jokes that work beautifully in any language.