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Colorado Avenue

This is Finland's entry to this year's Cine Europa, and definitely not one of the better films in the line-up.

This film is a melodrama, if my powers of classification serve me right, and I have nothing against melodramas. It's just that this particular film lacks that X-factor that I have come to associate with European films.

Quite honestly, there is nothing really riveting about the narrative.
The story just tells about Dollar-Hanna and her not-so-epic journey to the American west, then back to Finland, and also the sub-plots of the other minor characters. I believe that the film would have shown more promise if it was treated like a war film, instead of this melodrama that reminds me so much of the drama shows on cable TV.

On the good side, the film did employ excellent cinematography, truthfully capturing the mood and feel of the narrative itself. But the best aspect of the film is definitely the production design, with believable sets (of course, they could have improved on the Colorado set) and convincingly accurate costumes. I guess if you have zero-percent CGI, most of the budget should go to production design.

In my effort not to end on a bad note, I'd just like to say that I know there is more to Finnish cinema than this, and that is what I am looking for. Well, probably next year.

Rating: Two stars.

*You can catch the last hurrah of Cine Europa until Sunday, September 21, 2008, at Shangri-La Cinema.


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