Hamlet Goes Business

Film, Drama

Time Out says

Kaurismäki's idiosycratic reworking of Shakespeare is concerned with money rather than melancholia. Transposed to modern Finland, it begins with the poisoning of the head of a family firm, leaving shiftless son Hamlet with a controlling 51 per cent interest. Learning that unprofitable mills and factories are to be sold off to buy a world monopoly in rubber-duck manufacture, Hamlet vetoes the move and starts a boardroom battle. Kaurismäki keeps this wacky idea afloat with farcial plotting, deadpan humour and cryptic dialogue. The overall tone is pure B-movie, the exaggerated emotions and Timo Salminen's glistening noir photography recalling Warners' crime melodramas of the '40s. The characters are ciphers, too: reduced to pawns in the board games, they have no life outside their assigned roles. Viewed in isolation, this might have seemed merely promising; seen in combination with Ariel and Leningrad Cowboys Go America, it confirms Kaurismäki's unique and unpredictable talent.

Details

Release details

Duration:
86 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Aki Kaurismäki
Screenwriter:
Aki Kaurismäki
Cast:
Pentti Auer
Esko Salminen
Pirkka-Pekka Petelius
Esko Nikkari
Kati Outinen
Elina Salo