Movie / Culture

The Most Beloved and Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki

The main figure of the movie is the eponymous Finn, coming from a small village, who after winning the European Championship in light weight gets into roundabouts of the city, training, sponsors and media. Olli as a successful boxer must do whatever is expected of him – especially practice and lose weight to get to the correct section of the match for the world title. More than winning the titles, Olli wants to be with his love Raija. More than boxing, the movie is about life. More than Rocky, the movie reminds us of last year’s Toni Erdmann.

Short movies directed by Juho Kuosmanen won many awards, among others also at festivals in Cannes or Locarn, so it is no surprise that with his feature debut Olli he won in section Un Certain Regard at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. Incredibly gentle, realistic and heartbraking Olli moves in a carefully prepared environment of the 60s, which is in terms of scenery, costumes or the aesthetics of the chosen camera just perfect. Behind the camera stood Jukka Kärkkäinen, who is known as a director of funny crowd-pleasing hit Punk Syndrome shown at One World Festival 2013. The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki is filmed in black and white 16mm film and the intimate, monochrome form perfectly resonates with the modest, little story of paradoxically great figure of Finnish boxer. The actor Jarkko Lahti absolutely convincingly played trained, but somehow gloomy boy (rather than man) who unlike his surroundings, humbly speaks of defeat, when neither he nor his managers expect that Olli could win the title in a battle against the invincible Davey Moore. Olli Mäki is in fact boxer, who rather than fighting in the ring keeps fighting himself. He exchanged the ambitions for the pursuit of self-aceptance and the happiest day of his life will not be as much associated with boxing as with other values of life. Of course, even such a touching movie does not lack grains of Scandinavian humor and absurdity.

 

 

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