|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||Mestari Cheng|
|Genre:||Comedy, Romance, Drama|
|Production country:||Finnland 2019|
|Running time:||Approx. 114 min.|
No one strays into the tranquil village of Pohjanjoki in Lapland. So the residents are all the more surprised when Chinese chef Cheng (Pak Hon Chu) shows up here with his son looking for an old friend. While no one knows the man Cheng is looking for, Caféowner Sirkka (Anna-Maija Tuokko) offers him and his boy a place to stay. In gratitude, Cheng helps her in the kitchen - with resounding success: Cheng's delicacies not only please the palates of the locals, but also attract solvent tourists. Thus, despite cultural differences, the chef succeeds in integrating himself into the small community. But the harmonious and tasty coexistence could quickly come to an end when Cheng's tourist visa expires.
Are you in the mood for some unexciting, light-hearted feel-good cinema? Then you're in for a treat with "Master Cheng in Pohjanjoki" from director Mika Kaurismäki. This quiet comedy is guaranteed not to win any awards for originality. And after the somewhat plodding beginning, the finale feels arguably rushed. But apart from that, the film manages to do one thing that is so incredibly important, especially in these difficult times: it makes the audience smile and conjures up some relaxed cheerfulness in their hearts. Who cares if not everything about the production is perfect!
Kaurismäki manages very well to paint the picture of a community in which you just feel good in a relatively short time. He draws quite wonderful characters that you enjoy spending time with also because of their quirkiness. In doing so, he creates the perfect setting for a wonderful romance and a story about the tasty effects of the clash of different cultures. The fact that this succeeds so completely without moralistic pointing fingers and full of refreshing lightness is what makes this film so worth seeing!
"Master Cheng in Pohjanjoki" tells a really nice story with simple but effective means, told with a lot of humor, heart and a tiny bit of melancholy. Cinema to switch off and enjoy - that is quite clear: Absolutely worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp