Review: ‘Blue Corner’

A bittersweet look at the way men take refuge in sports, to the detriment of their full development as husbands and fathers, "Blue Corner" features quirky characters at odds with each others' needs. Distinctive Nordic blend of humor and emotional discomfort permeates this nicely thesped venture about three generations of boxers in a Finnish town. Fifth feature by Matti Ijas ("Blindfolded," 1999; "Lyrics and Lace," 1992) is rewarding fest fare.

A bittersweet look at the way men take refuge in sports, to the detriment of their full development as husbands and fathers, “Blue Corner” features quirky characters at odds with each others’ needs. Distinctive Nordic blend of humor and emotional discomfort permeates this nicely thesped venture about three generations of boxers in a Finnish town. Fifth feature by Matti Ijas (“Blindfolded,” 1999; “Lyrics and Lace,” 1992) is rewarding fest fare.

PK (Sulevi Peltola), a weather-beaten womanizer, is strict about training his pudgy young son, Kusti, and has placed many a vicarious hope in his elder son, Jamppa (Petteri Summanen). Bankrolled by roguish local hotshot Teppo (Antti Litja), Jamppa is supposed to be in Amsterdam boxing; in fact, he’s snuck back into town, where two women – one a very pregnant Swede, the other a long-suffering local girl – are waiting for him. Jamppa is also in debt and mixed up in shady dealings and petty crime. While all this is coming to a head, PK has to choose between a widow he loved long ago and continuing to run his boxing ring.

Blue Corner

Finland

Production

A Dada Films production. (International sales: Dada, Helsinki.) Produced by Kari Sara. Directed by Matti Ijas. Screenplay, Heikki Reivila, Ijas.

Crew

Camera (color), Kari Sohlberg; editor, Kauko Lindfors; music, Eero Ojanen; art directors, Pertti Hilkamo, Ulla-Maija Vaisanen; costumes, Elina Kolehmainen. Reviewed at Gothenburg Film Festival (Nordic Light), Sweden, Jan. 30, 2003. (Also in Mar del Plata Film Festival.) Original title: Haaveiden keha. Running time: 90 min.

With

Sulevi Peltola, Petteri Summanen, Antti Litja, Rea Mauranen, Mikko Alanko, Riitta Elstela, Pentti Halonen, Maria Jarvenhelmi, Jaana Jarvinen, Tommi Korpela.
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