The Man Without a Past

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Year Released: 2002
Rating: 1.5

A welder gets mugged while on a park bench, forgets who he is, and befriends various vagabonds and taciturn social workers in this Oscar-nominated Kaurismäki film. Many have called it a 'great deadpan comedy', and I agree, if 'great' means 'trivial,' 'deadpan' means 'profoundly unfunny' and 'comedy,' when following a word like 'deadpan,' is an oxymoron. It may be true that I just don't 'get it,' but I'm confident that appreciating something like this is based on whether you find individual moments, like the scenes with the jukebox, to be subversive and pleasurable - there are no bigger 'goals,' only sporadic moments of weirdness. If you ask me, Renny Harlin's movies are far more humorous, and he doesn't even try for laughs.