Rock ‘N’ Roll Never Dies

Undeterred by a lack of talent, a big-hearted doofus pursues dream of being a rocker in amiable if overlong Finnish laffer "Rock 'n' Roll Never Dies." Tongue-in-cheek humor and a daffy streak of whimsy rep plus points for this second theatrical feature by Juha Koiranen.

With:
With: Samuli Edelmann, Marjukka Halttunen, Seppo Halttunen, Ilkka Koivula, Hennariikka Laaksola, Kari-Pekka Toivonen, Risto Tuorila.

Undeterred by a lack of talent, a big-hearted doofus pursues dream of being a rocker in amiable if overlong Finnish laffer “Rock ‘n’ Roll Never Dies.” Tongue-in-cheek humor and a daffy streak of whimsy rep plus points for this second theatrical feature by Juha Koiranen (“The Sweep”). Feature recalls mix of mournful and mirthful in Aki Kaurismaki’s movies, but sadly hasn’t got the same short, sharp bite of Kaurismaki at his best. Despite title, pic died off fairly quickly in its home market after its December 2006 release.

Long-haired Tiger (Samuli Edelmann, likeable) lives at home with his parents, who smilingly applaud every time (and there are several of them) he plays Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” on his trusty homemade guitar. At his creative-writing classes, he reads aloud stories about his dead little brother and when he had a teenage garage band, prompting flashbacks. Later, he pitches woo to classmate Kiti (fetching Hennariikka Laaksola), but she gives him the brush-off when she hears his music. Little else happens until climax, in which the band reforms for a pyramid-selling seminar. Lustrous lensing stands out in so-so tech pack.

Rock 'N' Roll Never Dies

(Finland

Production: A Filmtotal Oy production, with the support of the Finnish Film Foundation and YLE. (International sales: Filmtotal, Helsinki.) Produced by Sinikka Usvamaa. Directed, written by Juha Koiranen.

Crew: Camera (color), Jyri Hakala; editor, Oskar Franzen; music, Koiranen; production designer, Katariina Lume; costume designer, Jaska Halttunen. Reviewed at Gothenburg Film Festival (competing), Feb. 3, 2007. (Also in Rotterdam Film Festival.) Running time: 131 MIN.

With: With: Samuli Edelmann, Marjukka Halttunen, Seppo Halttunen, Ilkka Koivula, Hennariikka Laaksola, Kari-Pekka Toivonen, Risto Tuorila.

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