A ‘Finnish-ed’ work of art

Black IceBlack Ice (Musta Jaa)

Year: 2007

Language: Finnish

Director: Petri Kotwica

Cast: Outi Maenpaa, Marti Suosalo, Ria Kataja

The first Finnish movie I have ever seen, I enjoyed this one tremendously. It does not drag and keeps you occupied throughout, even worried about what might happen next. Saraa (Maenpaa) is a young gynaecologist who finds out on her birthday that her husband, Leo (Suosalo) is cheating on her.  Leo is a professor of architecture. Determined to find out who his mistress is, she snoops around in his office and finds out that it is Tuuli (Kataja), her husband’s student. She prints out a picture of her and follows her out of the office only to realise that Tuuli is also a karate teacher. She begins to take karate classes and pretends to be a psychologist, in the hope of knowing her better. They develop a thick friendship, and we are at the edge of our mind’s seat, always wondering if Tuuli would find out that Crista is actually her boyfriend’s wife.

Saraa begins to spend more and more time with Tuuli, even visiting her house. By this time, she and Leo have separated and she realises that he is still seeing Tuuli. Her trauma continues when she finds a naked picture of Leo’s that Tuuli has sketched. She is even more determined to know everything there is and somehow take revenge on the mistress. She dredges out every last detail of their relationship and a few sordid secrets – Leo has always cheated on her, even when they were engaged. As a viewer, you might think that she is getting more and more disgusted by Leo. But, instead a little while later she moves back into the house and they reconcile. It is a complicated emotion where Saraa is obsessed with the relationship between Tuuli and Leo

All this while, she and Tuuli maintain a steady friendship, getting closer and closer. Neither Leo nor Tuuli have any idea about what Saraa is up to. And what is she up to? Does she want to hurt Tuuli the way she was hurting when she found out about the affair? Or is she just playing an elaborate game out of an insatiable curiosity about the affair? Is it so that she can know the difference between her and Tuuli, and why her husband cheated? I am not sure. By the end of the movie, you realise she is playing unnecessary mind games, ones that can end up terribly for her.

Leo breaks up with Tuuli when Saraa moves back to the house. When she realises that Tuuli might be pregnant, Saraa is consumed by the need to find out whether it is actually so. How does this movie end? Do Leo and Tuuli find out the truth?

Verdict: A great watch. Do watch it as I am sure that people who have watched Finnish movies are in a minority!
Rating: 4stars
Hot: Extremely enjoyable….and makes one ponder the psyche of a person who has been cheated on.
Not: The character of Saraa seems a little crazy by the end of the movie! But maybe that is intentional.