“Dancer in the Dark”-lite, with songs but sans dancing and plot, “On the Road to Emmaus” is a Dogma-in-all-but-name road movie with a simple plot, even simpler jokes, and plenty of attitude. Freewheeling affair, shot on DV and efficiently transferred to 35m, is likely to have narrow appeal, despite its devil-may-care approach in which cast members frequently address the camera directly, and the entire cast and crew take a bow in lieu of end credits.
The excuse for a narrative finds Helsinki real estate agent Rane (tousle-haired Puntti Valtonen) return to his roots in the boondocks to sell his family home. But his plans are thwarted by the arrival of family and friends, plus childhood recollections. As he walks the entire length of the road that goes through the village where he grew up, the characters from his past at first annoy, then horrify him, and finally bring him back to earth. No budget item has a hang-it-all attitude which is mildly appealing, but, like the hero, the film doesn’t really go anywhere in the end.