Set against the backdrop of an iced-over contemporary Helsinki, and based on Leo Tolstoy's False Note, Frozen Land takes you on a journey through a strikingly bleak and occasionally blackly funny landscape where money's the goal and drink abounds, and where loneliness and desperation push people to the edge of their lives and sanity. Divided into chapters 'Unemployment', 'Booze', 'The Axe', 'Family', 'Snowpile' and 'Police', Frozen Land is a brilliantly devised web of interconnecting Finnish fates Set in motion by the printing of a forged 500 Euro note, the film bounces between the lives of a pair of young computer hackers, a depressed policewoman, a mullet-haired car thief and a vacuum salesman and recovering alcoholic who falls off the wagon with a vengeance. At the forefront of a new generation of Finnish filmmakers, Aku Louhimes' gripping visuals form the compelling backdrop for an exceptionally powerful ensemble of performances in a compelling and thrillingly inventive work that suggests a harsh but beautiful world determined by fate.
Frozen Land is a powerful tale of individual stories joined together by the law of chaos and finally, approximately coming full circle.
A schoolteacher loses his job at the same time as a new, younger man starts at the same school. His desperate spiral into alcoholism kicks off a slowly unwinding chain of events, affecting people all over Helsinki. Each character seems to pass on misfortune to the next, releasing personal demons that tear lives apart. There is a grim fatalism pervading the film, characters seem unable to break away from the personal hell they are in, unable to make right decisions. The narrative thread is brilliantly thought out- events seem inevitable yet completely unpredictable.
The moments of humour are few, and very black. Hope is almost non-existent. It is though a beautifully shot, well constructed and affecting work of art.