Freetime Machos

Freetime Machos


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Rugger in Finland? In the snow? As the subject of a documentary they might have chosen something more exotic. Cricketers in Siberia, perhaps? Ping pong in Tahiti?

Mika Ronkainen’s film has no pretensions beyond an extended home movie of lads being physical, but not quite gay. The homosexual undercurrents are running as the talk on the bus is about porn sex versus girly sex and whether it gets better in marriage as you grow older.

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This team is bottom of the league. They win only one game in the season and Freetime Machos chronicles bits of their defeats, which, as the summer progresses, becomes sadder and sadder. You get to know them, these heavy blokes, and learn to appreciate their decency, although the most interesting, a novelist and a gay – yes, there is one in the team who comes out at the very end – are barely introduced.

Bad rugby and fantasy sex – their mascot is a blow up doll – and a depressing English coach, who has little influence on their pitch performance, fail to win the thrill-a-minute prize for originality. However, there are moments that suggest a different film, involving Ana, who comes to train with the boys but is not allowed to play in league matches, and a possible strike at the Nokia plant where many of them work.

You have to build your own house, one of them jokes. “It makes you a better man.” Not a better movie, unfortunately.

Reviewed on: 16 Jun 2010
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A season of piss poor rugby in Finland and what the players think about sex.
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Director: Mika Ronkainen

Writer: Mika Ronkainen

Starring: Matti Keränen, Mikko Koljonen, Roger Holden, Tuomo Jaakkonen, Jarmo Stoor, Ana Vidal

Year: 2009

Runtime: 86 minutes

Country: Finland/Germany


Tribeca 2010
EIFF 2010

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