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The Quiet Village

Actor-turned-writer-director Kari Vaananen attempts a commercial mix of suspense, action and comedy in "The Quiet Village," a routine murder mystery with a plot similar to that of "Bad Day at Black Rock." Result is a meller that contains few surprises. Outside its home turf, vid sales appear to be the best bet. Taisto Reimaluoto plays Mies, a tough city cop (with a stain on his past he's trying to forget) who is quick-tempered and happy to throw a punch if the suspect seems to be stalling. He spends his nights in a drunken stupor. Mies arrives in a rural backwater to take over from the retiring local cop, who, he soon suspects, was bribed not to solve the murder 18 months earlier of a local teenager.

With:
Mies ..... Taisto Reimaluoto Nainen ..... Sari Havas Onni Pukari ..... Taneli Makela Mandoliini ..... Vesa Vierikko Olavi Maatta ..... Juhani Niemela Luihu ..... Antti Majanlahti Liisa Kaski ..... Heli Takala

Annikki’s last entry in her diary was “I’m afraid.” Everyone in town, from the local man of influence and power (every Finnish town seems to have one) to various deadbeats, asserts the girl was murdered by a drifter passing through.

But Mies is quickly convinced that a resident of the village was responsible and that there’s a conspiracy to hush up what happened.

What follows is predictable, with occasional attempts at comedy coming across as contrived. Production values are aces, with top camerawork by Timo Salminen giving the modest pic a handsome surface sheen. Pic was produced by Villealfa, the company run by Aki and Mika Kaurismaki, but isn’t in the least similar to the work of either brother.

The Quiet Village

Finnish

Production: A Villealfa Filmprods./Finnish Broadcasting Co. production, with the support of the Finnish Film Foundation. (International sales: Villealfa, Helsinki.) Produced by Aki Kaurismaki, Mika Kaurismaki. Co-producer, Eila Werning. Directed, written by Kari Vaananen.

Crew: amera (color), Timo Salminen; editor, Timo Linnasalo; music, Ismo Alanko; production design, Jukka Salmi, Markku Patila; costumes, Ina Jakobson; sound (Dolby stereo), Jouko Lumme; assistant director, Lenka Hellstedt. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (market), Feb. 17, 1997. Running time: 78 MIN.

With: Mies ..... Taisto Reimaluoto Nainen ..... Sari Havas Onni Pukari ..... Taneli Makela Mandoliini ..... Vesa Vierikko Olavi Maatta ..... Juhani Niemela Luihu ..... Antti Majanlahti Liisa Kaski ..... Heli Takala

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