Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

"The relationship between the sisters is well defined and sensitively explored."

It has been years since they saw each other, Anna (Sonja Kuittinen) and Angela (Krista Kosonen), two women with the same father and different mothers. At first, Angela doesn’t even know who Anna is. She’s scraping a living as an exotic dancer and has got into debt with the wrong kind of people. Anna gets her out of a tight situation only to reveal their relationship with the aid of a photo album. Though startled, Angela takes it well, and they begin work on getting to know each other. But there are big problems on the horizon.

Kosonen is an established star in Finland and works well as the older sister gradually drawing the younger – who is played by a newcomer – into her world. Persuading her to get involved in the dancing business, she argues that the two of them can pay off the debt and be free to run away together, perhaps to the sunny imagined utopia of Miami. But Anna, green as she is, is unconvinced that they will be able to make €30,000 in three weeks. She suggests that they could do a lot better by blackmailing Angela’s clients. In doing so, they get themselves into a whole new level of trouble.

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The thriller here has a few twists but is ultimately pretty routine. Those critics who have praised the film for the supposed innovation of featuring sisters who are strippers presumably only ever visited video shops without back rooms. There’s some pretty twee dialogue, but the relationship between the sisters is well defined and sensitively explored. There’s also some finely judged work from the supporting cast; unlike many filmmakers weaving a plot around drug dealers, writer/director Zaida Bergroth has grasped that fact that they’re human beings with worries of their own. These human elements of her film are much more interesting than its central story.

The action scenes are fairly well staged and the bright colours and neon lights of the film’s central scenes contrast nicely with the bleak expanses in which its final scenes are set. Miami if a competent if not especially remarkable film which will prove less satisfying to thriller fans than to those who enjoy character-based drama.

Reviewed on: 27 Feb 2018
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Miami packshot
Estranged sisters reunite after the death of their father and form a daring plan to pay off debts.

Director: Zaida Bergroth

Writer: Zaida Bergroth, Jan Forsström, Kaarina Hazard, Leea Klemola

Starring: Krista Kosonen, Sonja Kuittinen, Alex Anton

Year: 2017

Runtime: 119 minutes

Country: Finland


Glasgow 2018

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