Friday, November 20, 2009

The Man Without a Past (2002)

Aki Kaurismaki's The Man Without a Past opens with the title character (Markku Peltola) being savagely beaten. At the hospital he is declared dead, but he sits up and walks out on his own power. He is taken in by a mother and her two sons, discovers an old jukebox that inspires local musicians, and discovers he has skills as a welder. When he becomes unwittingly involved in a bank robbery, and the man is unable to give the police his name, the cops send out feelers trying to figure out the man's identity. Soon his wife appears. The Man Without a Past was screened at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival where it was awarded the Grand Prix, the most storied prize after the Palme D'Or. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide

Theatrical Feature Running Time: 97 mins
The Man Without a Past (2002)
Although another foreign film that is quite slow in the development of the story line, I found the character of "M" to be very interesting and a certain curiosity about him in the movie. While we do get some background on him from the time he meets his wife, there is just so many unanswered questions that still create the tense feelings in the movie dialogue. In the end we do not need to know what his past is since he changed after the mugging. He even confronts his attackers later but the plot does not indicate that he remembered them also as the kids also show no remorse for their thug actions.

I am sure to also put Lights in the Dusk (2006) on my movie queue.

The Man Without a Past From Wikipedia
The film begins with an unnamed man arriving by train to Helsinki. After falling asleep in a park, he is mugged and beaten by hoodlums and is severely injured in the head, losing consciousness. He awakes and wanders back to the train station and collapses in its bathroom. He awakes the second time in a hospital and finds that he has lost his memory. He starts his life from scratch, living in container dwellings, finding clothes with help from the Salvation Army and making friends with the poor.