Pearls and Pigs (2003) Poster

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You'll laugh...or cry and laugh. Probably the latter
LillaMy3 October 2004
If you want some serious fun, this is not for you. It is impossible to apply the word serious to this film in any way. This is hilarious fun, but it probably doesn't appeal to foreigners. As a Finn, I laughed my ass off though, so that tears came into my eyes. The tagline said: "You'll laugh. Or cry and laugh", meaning that you will laugh, or you will be compelled to do it. It is a much used Finnish saying, and it was true.

The problem about Finnish films is that they are rarely understood by foreigners. Foreigners seem to have a problem with direct nudity, especially I've heard remarks of masculine nudity. Not one single scene showed nakedness in the way Hollywood films usually do (I will not go into details, you know all about it). But I won't generalise, go and see for yourself. Finnish people just have a very different approach and attitude towards nakedness...

Exaggeration is the key that builds the humour in this film. Saara's song was lovely, but the way it was filmed was really over tragic, making it in fact funny. And sweet. The reveling of the brothers is also very tragicomic. Just like in Pahat pojat or Pitkä, kuuma kesä.
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Well, how should I put this...
jessecrowder19 September 2003
...I would hate to say that it kind of sucked and I'm not gonna, it's just that it wasn't exactly my cup of tea.

I think it was very honest attempt to make laid back comedy which in Finland usually has something to do with heavy boozing or (male) nudity.

I didn't laugh one single time and I really had wanted to like this flick. I would like to say it was sympathetic, but it really wasn't.

It was way too long and it's pacing was most of the time off note. The whole mid section of the movie just kind of blurred and when the lame ass finale finally came, I couldn't care less for any of the characters.

Acting was over all mediocre - the little girl was very good though. The four brothers were natural, but quite uninteresting and stereotyphical. Taneli Mäkelä & the-guy-who-played-Sibelius were straight out of a goof ball comedy skit and really painfully stuck out. The bad guys were from a different genre also, somewhere between "Sopranos" and "Tankki täyteen".

Cinematography was like in many other finnish films: fairly up to TV standards. Not enough pictures and not enough cinematic vision.

The beautiful song sung by the kid was of course, well, beautiful BUT NOT THAT GOD DAMN BEAUTIFUL. I mean, jeez, everytime she sung it the camera gets close to her slowly, people's eyes get moist and the movie going audience is almost litarally forced to feel emotional. I was waiting for a "YOU SHOULD CRY NOW" subtitles appear on the screen the final time this happened. Once used this kind of overly overwhelming scene would've worked, but they wasted that ammo pretty early on.

Maybe I'm a cynic and should be happy with what I'm given, but I know that finnish filmmakers could do better. Perttu Leppä including, whose previous films (especially his great short films) worked a lot better in my oppinion. "Helmiä ja sikoja" is a hyper naive picture and you should follow the main characters' example and drink heavily thru the whole film. That might have helped me.
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Who knew?
birrellesque2 September 2004
Who knew Finnish people were funny? (Who knew they actually had electricity?)

Casual xenophobia aside I saw this as part of Edinburgh Film Festival and of the (too) many movies I saw this was second only to Old Boy on my favourites list and certainly the biggest crowdpleaser. Perhaps it's because I sat through for too many 'worthy' efforts but this really funny and had my friends, who weren't keen and came under duress, laughing throughout. A buoy of simple charms in a sea of pretension, the tale of the four brothers and their get-rich-quick schemes isn't exactly original but more than makes up for it in charm and feeling. Are all Finnish movies this good?
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Definitely funnier than "Pitkä kuuma kesä"
VoiLevi19 October 2003
I liked Leppä's previous film "Pitkä kuuma kesä" but didn't find it as great as most young Finns seem to. So I didn't expect very much of this. Maybe that's why I was almost blown away and really laughed a lot during this flick.

The characters are quite rough stereotypes but the actors do a great (or at least decent) job portraying them thus making them painfully disgusting or funny. Especially Amanda Pilke's performance as young Saara really hits the spot. What disturbs a bit is that sometimes people start laughing in the middle of their lines. I really believe that is intentional and not just poor acting. However, it sometimes makes you feel as if the actors are making up their lines as they speak and thus have a hard time showing a serious face. This disturbs especially with Unto Helo, whose acting in "Pitkä kuuma kesä" wasn't really my favorite performance either.

I think the funny bits are mostly in the dialogue, so non-Finns might not find this nearly as funny as I did. I also guess you get the most of this if you're under thirty years old (at least mentally :) ) because most of the

action involves young guys messing around and boozing. Still, there's also a plot so this is not just a Jackass episode.
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Really positive surprise
Argath28 August 2003
I did see this on premiere night on Kinopalatsi and I was totally surprised. Film was really funny, casting was good and dialog was great. The story wasn't so good, but who cares, this is comedy.

Still I don't recommend this to non-Finland speakers, because the comedy is mostly based on dialogue and subtitles must take part of the jokes. If you really like Finish movies, go see this one.

9/10 Comedy
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If you want to laugh, go to see this movie
jhokkan629 August 2003
Once again director Perttu Leppä has made small budget movie about Finnish youth. This time it´s all about 4 brothers, who are indebted to 2 gangsters and their old man is in jail. Lots of hilarious moments especially for you, who liked the previous Perttu Leppä movie "Pitkä Kuuma Kesä".
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Good music, but the manuscript may not please everybody
Juhahin15 September 2003
The film had several good points, above all the music and the filming, but the manuscript was not to my liking. Judging from the reaction of the teenage audience I was not in the majority, though. The director of the film denies that the film is intended for teenagers, but several things point to that direction.
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moksman14 March 2004
I went to see this movie with my 13-year old niece. I was truly positively surprised when we left the theatre. OK, maybe this movie will never win an Oscar, but sure as hell, lots of people will like it! Director Leppä´s style is very close to Finnish state of soul. I actually had a few flashbacks to my youth when I saw all hassling and boozing of those characters. Still, there is a sensitive part between younger but lonely girl and a young woman who has just left her former life with an butthole-boyfriend.

To say at least something negative: Some characters aren´t maybe at their right spots. Antti Virmavirta - one of my favourite Finnish actors - isn´t right kind of man to play that role. Does a good job though, but someone else´s appearance could have been better.

As others say, I wouldn´t recommend this movie to non-finnish audience. But for you Finnish people, this is a must-see, no doubt.
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