The Liar

The Liar


Reviewed by: Caro Ness

In The Liar (Valehtelija) Ville Alfa (Aki Kaurismäki), an overly intellectual, amoral, manic young wastrel, cannot stop telling lies. His dishonesty enables him to seduce girls and borrow money from friends, family and total strangers but he abandons people the minute the going gets tough, or if it suits him, or if he thinks the grass is greener elsewhere. Finally his compulsive lies land him in hot water.

I loathed this film. For a start, Ville is the most unsympathetic central character – utterly amoral, selfish and with no apparent redeeming features, so it is hard to imagine that all these people fall for his fabrications all the time. Next, I found the pseudo intellectualism in the movie tiresome and affected. I could not wait to see the back of Ville and his pretentious friends.

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The camerawork, in black and white, gives the film a certain edge and the Kaurismäki's performance, which really brings this repugnant character to life, but but ultimately I was left feeling that I had wasted an afternoon.

Out to own on DVD with Jackpot 2.

Reviewed on: 05 Oct 2008
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Drama charts the life of a compulsive liar.
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Director: Mika Kaurismäki

Writer: Aki Kaurismäki, Pauli Pentti

Starring: Aki Kaurismäki, Pirrko Hämäläinen, Juuso Hirvikangas, Lars Lindberg, Esa Sirkkunen

Year: 1981

Runtime: 53 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Finland


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