Last night I saw the most depressing movie I’ve ever seen and also the most depressing movie I’m ever going to see, because I cannot believe that any movie could be more depressing than this one. It’s Finnish and called Frozen City and if you plan to see it you should do the visual equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and humming loudly right now because here comes a synopsis. [You can also just stop reading.]
So there’s this guy, right, and he drives a taxi. His wife has taken off somewhere and he’s alone looking after his three small children. He’s really good at it and you can tell he loves them loads and they him. His mother comes over when he has to work nights [which he absolutely does, because he’s severely broke] but she’s a lush and doesn’t want to be called grandma and really doesn’t like to babysit. So the guy’s wife comes home and it’s clear they’re going to split up, and they do. He wants to keep the kids but she says no, she’s keeping the kids. So he moves out into this dreary apartment in a Soviet-type apartment building and he has no furniture, just a mattress. And he gets his kids every once in a while, but it’s all hopeless like the power being shut off because he has no money to pay the electrical bill and stuff, but he tells the kids they’re on an adventure so they don’t realize he’s broke and you feel all sorry for him. One night there’s a knock on the door and it’s one of his neighbours complaining that the makeshift curtains he’s hung up are ugly and would he please put up proper curtains. And this guy keeps returning and insisting he put up proper curtains and is generally a pain in the ass. So our taxi driver is pretty desolate and nothing is going right, but he’s really trying, you know? He’s trying. Like: his daughter has a birthday and he goes out and buys her a guinea pig, but he has to buy the guinea pig on installments because he has no money. Meanwhile his ex-wife is being an absolute viper, manipulative and ugleh, and incidentally has already refused him joint custody, which he really wanted. So anyway, when he returns the kids accompanied by the guinea pig, the ex refuses to have it there and tells him to take it back to his dreary apartment with the rest of his stuff. So he goes back to his dreary apartment and while he’s carrying his stuff upstairs he leaves the guinea pig in its cage downstairs and when he comes back down, it’s gone. So he goes to the pet store to see if they have another one just like it, but the pet store owner refuses to sell him another one because he still owes money from the first one. So he goes away and goes to work and lo and behold gets fired because he’s had so much trouble going on in his personal life. He then hits the nearest bar where he proceeds to get loaded, and as he’s doing so spots a lady in the mirror who sort of smiles at him. So he goes over, and pours out all his troubles, and she listens for a while and then says yeah yeah yeah but you know what I want, don’t you? My place or yours? And he says, yours. And she says OK, it’s 200 Euros. Which obviously he can’t afford. So he’s like really far down by now and as he’s getting his coat at the bar he sticks up for this gypsy lady who they won’t let in on account of racism and whathaveyou, and the doorman ends up beating him up and throwing him out in the snow. So he staggers home, by now totally wasted, and outside his door is his pain in the ass neighbour, holding the guinea pig and smiling at him. And you think, yay! He’s found the guinea pig. But just as our taxi driver walks up the neighbour gets this mean expression on his face, puts the guinea pig into a canvas bag and slams it as hard as he can against the door, going: See you can’t even look after a rat!! So at that point our taxi driver loses it, attacks the guy [who had it coming, obviously] and blood spurts all over the place, and next scene he wakes up, goes outside, sees a pool of blood and you realize he’s killed the guy. So he goes to jail and the ex turns up and says she misses him and you think, oh great maybe they’ll get back together. But no, he gets sentenced to jail and is in the smallest cell you’ve ever seen. And finally one day the ex comes to visit with the two older kids and they have this time together in one of those family rooms and he really wants to have sex with her in the next room but she keeps going nonono, I can’t I can’t, and he sort of begs her until she jerks him off. And then when they’re done she announces she’s met a new man and she and the kids are moving to France to be with him and never coming back. So our taxi driver goes back to his cell and rips up the sheet on his bed and tries to hang himself, but fails even at that. And gets put in the prison hospital and gets out and you see him out in the yard contemplating the wall as though he’s going to try to escape, which you know would only mean he’d get caught and sentenced to many many more years. THE END.
Seriously, EPI and I just sank further and further down in our seats until we were just shaking our heads and emitting these weak guffaws because it all seemed so absurd. And on the way home we decided that this was the absolute most depressing film in the world and wondered: What was the point of making it? Was there some deep, meaningful point? Or was it just utterly absurdly depressing to the point where it was supposed to be funny? I don’t think so, though. I mean, it ended up that way with us, but I don’t think that’s what the director was thinking. I think he thinks he was making a meaningful film.
With good acting. Yeah, the acting was good. At least that’s something.
Not too bad today. Mostly cloudy and somewhat windy but with sunny spells. Quite a pleasant fall day, actually. It was a ‘long Saturday’ in town which means that the stores stay open longer than usual because it’s the first Saturday of the month so presumably people have all this surplus money to spend and the stores are there to provide relief. YT had no surplus but had a boo around nonetheless and – get this – I took the bus home. I have not taken the bus here in Reykjavík for years and years because they run so infrequently and it costs one arm and one leg and oh, don’t get me started on the poor communications in the city. But it was kinda fun. Kinda nostalgic, like. Even though they’ve changed the routes and all the names and numbers of the buses and have new upholstery on the seats and so on. But anyway. Enough blathering for one night. Temps currently 8°C and sunrise was at 07.56, sunset 18.33.