Cinebanter

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

SIFF Sighting: A MAN'S JOB (drama; Finland)

How far would you go to save your family from financial ruin?

The main character in this film, Juha (Tommi Korpela), decides on male prostitution. He's recently been fired from the plant and realizes he has no other marketable skills, so he enlists his friend Olli (Jani Volanen) to act as his "driver" (a.k.a. pimp) and organize the escort operation for a sizable commission.

At home, Juha's depressed wife Katja (Maria Heiskanen) cares for their three children and spends her days hating life; at his new job, Juha sexually caters to everything from senior citizens to disabled teens (even one who beats him with a brush as she bathes with him).

At first, you can't help but hope his "business" succeeds. He genuinely loves his family and he genuinely seems out of options.

But the deceit of lying to loved ones, coupled with the emotional toll of intimacy with strangers soon begins to decay Juha's world and his reality spins out of control.

I couldn't take my eyes off this, and if you see it you won't be able to either. The man sitting in the seat of life that's vulnerable is a refreshing, if not uncomfortable change to witness in film.

Kudos to these storytellers for not being afraid to make the movie, and for doing it so well.

A MAN'S JOB will be shown Monday, May 26 at Uptown Cinema as part of the 34th Annual Seattle International Film Festival.

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