The Collector-Movie Review-Movie from Finland

The Collector Film Review Finland Finnish Movie

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The Collector

Dir. Auli Mantila
Finland, 1997
35mm 98 min.
Finnish with English subtitles

Auli Mantila is considered the most promising and original film director to have emerged from the 'new wave' of Finnish cinema in the latter half of the 90's, and her debut thriller The Collector is an uncompromising foray into the mind of a disturbed young woman.

Celebrated Finnish theatre actress Leea Klemola plays the awkward, tomboyish Eevi with a chilling credibility; as she desperately strives for approval and love, her frightening aggression leads to one rejection after another, and to violently unpredictable behavior through which she alienates herself from her peers, and from society at large.

When her sister ejects her from their shared apartment so that her lover can move in, the expulsion takes on a cataclysmic significance for the obsessive-compulsive Eevi, and after trying to set fire to the apartment she hits the road for a 'holiday' that entails petty theft, kidnapping and murder. In the words of film critic Helena Ylanen , she becomes "a serial killer that leaves her victims suffering.

Horrible and typical for her is the way she steals the lives of her victims, their homes, possessions, hobbies and loved ones." There is a disarming sentimentality in the relationship between the two sisters, but what sinister secrets they may share are never divulged. We only know that their relationship is burdened by a certain co-dependence, but director Mantila cleverly steers clear of exposition. As an ironic counterpoint, the film is strangely dotted with contemporary Finnish versions of '60s pop hits, including the Walker Brothers' "Sunny".

Kier-La Janisse