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The Independent Critic

Ari Miettinen, Jani Kauro, Tuomas Perala, Miika Puttonen
Tuomas Perala
25 Mins.

 "Perfect Life" an Experimental Short From Finland 
I wouldn't ordinarily dip into the Youtube archives to review a film, but since cast member Ari Miettinen specifically requested a review I thought I'd give this 2000 film out of Finland a chance.

The film is shot in black-and-white, while the film has a rather retro feel to it that's not so much intentional as it is a product of the fact that the film was made 12 years ago. The film follows a man (Miettinen) works in a swamp until one day everything starts to go wrong for him. According to Miettinen, the film is ultimately about shattered dreams and how simply life can break down if it's built on a simple illusion.

Miettinen himself describes the quality as feeling like VHS, and that's an accurate appraisal of the film. It's also accurate to say that such a quality actually enhances the film's sense of isolation and melancholy. The biggest issue with the film may very well be that the film's original score actually dominates the film rather jarringly, with there being times that the film's music breaks through that sense of melancholy and lands with a rather overwhelming thud. Additionally, while the images do look as if they were created years ago, the music itself feels rather contemporary and the difference between the experience with sight and sound at times creates a distraction.

That said, Perfect Life is a moody and dramatic film in which Miettinen himself shines as the isolated man whose dreams are shattering in simple yet profound ways.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic