|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 92 Min|
|FSK:||From 6 years|
1962: The whole of Finland is upside down. Olli Mäki (Jarkko Lahti) could be the first Finn to become boxing world champion in the featherweight. In Helsinki his coach Elis (Eero Milonoff) wants to prepare him for the title fight. Training, press conferences, advertising shootings and everything else that is necessary to capitalize on the possible title is on the tight agenda. But so shortly before his goal Olli is neither full of head nor heart. Because with Rajia (Oona Airola) he has just found the love of his life. And he doesn't want to let them go so easily anymore - not even for a world champion title…
With his feature film debut "The Happiest Day in Olli Mäki's Life" director Juho Kuosmanen has adapted a true story for the screen that is well known in Finland. Filmed on 16mm material in black and white, his work can be described as "Anti-Rocky". As great as the parallels between the two films may be in dramatic terms, the way in which they are told is completely different. Kuosmanen has opted for a very reserved, calm narrative style, which adds a little melancholy to the laconic humour that is not unusual for Finnish cinema. What has emerged from this may seem a bit tough and too leisurely. But those who can get involved with the special narrative style will also succeed in discovering and enjoying the beauty of the pictures and the story.
With a lot of effort, the filmmaker found old footage to give his debut a look as authentic as possible. In times of digital cinema, in which the most modern technology and the best picture quality are always used, this is an unusual and courageous undertaking. For this is how the film, of course, eludes the usual viewing habits, which is further intensified by the unagitated narrative style. Thus one has the feeling that "The happiest day in the life of Olli Mäki" was created more in the late 60s than in 2016. Juho Kuosmanen has thus absolutely achieved his goal, even though this makes it difficult for the film to appeal to a wider audience.
However, arthouse cinema lovers will get their money's worth here. With a subtle twinkle in his eye, the film tells the story of a boxer who is supposed to sell his soul with the prospect of a great victory at devil's come out, but who would rather give his heart to his great love. That could easily have been big kitsch with a lot of pathos. But there's no sign of that here. The staging remains subtle in all moments and thus appears charming and true-to-life. No film for viewers who need speed and action. But if you like fine Arthaus food with soft humour and fine melancholy, you've come to the right place. Worth seeing
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