Bank Robbery

Bank Robbery


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Madis (Hannes Kaljujarv) has the look of a man who has spent half his life behind bars. His social skills balance between loud and unacceptable and his face has been weathered by the chill winds of inequality. He is hard, there is no doubt, with homemade tattoos up and down his arms, but he is not a killer.

Hannes (Henri Kuus) looks like a girl. He has lanky long hair and the face of a frightened angel. He is teenage, bullied and quiet. He lives in a dirty flat with his once-glamorous mother and brute of a father.

Copy picture

It is difficult to believe these relationships. When Madis comes out of prison, he arrives at the flat and is greeted as Uncle. Is he Hannes’s mother’s brother? It seems unlikely. As for the hulking, bloated wife beater, can he be the boy’s real father? Surely not.

After a fight and shouting match, Madis takes off in the brute’s car with Hannes and heads north in search of Milvi (Karin Tammaru), his dating agency bride, whom he has never met. Conversation is limited until Madis claims to be a bank robber, which impresses Hannes no end.

This is an odd, often charming road movie, in which sentimentality, an essential ingredient of the genre, is held in check. Emotions are fierce (Madis), or repressed (Hannes), or flamboyant (hitchhiker Lagle), or generous (Milvi). The journey may be long and the destination uncertain, yet the characters remain true to their destinies.

Despite hopeful interludes and the promise of something better, the personality of the ex-con remains destructive. The storyline twists into familiar shapes. Predictability smothers surprise.

Reviewed on: 15 Apr 2010
Share this with others on...
Ex-con and nephew take a road trip in search of a bride.
Amazon link

Director: Andrus Tuisk

Writer: Mihkel Ulman

Starring: Hannes Kaljujarv, Henri Kuus, Karin Tammaru, Marilyn Jurman

Year: 2009

Runtime: 93 minutes

Country: Estonia


Search database: