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  • Shaolin_Apu16 February 2009
    There are generally two types of war films, the other is the patriotic type where the soldiers are glorified for their sacrifices and exploits, and the other type shows the war as a meaningless destruction and sheer madness. There are also combinations of these two types but Manillaköysi still does not anyhow belong to either type: one little acknowledged side of the war still remains that completely defies either category, and that is 'war as a wicked human experience'.

    The frame of Manillaköysi is the Finland-Soviet war of 1941-44. The movie does not contain actual battle scenes, or actually it does depending on who you want to believe, but it contains some small events or little stories. The cast is however way too old to represent actual frontline men, but that does not matter for the events that take place are just exhilariating. You just don't often see realist dramas that are funnier than many comedies.

    Manillaköysi is based on Veijo Meri's novel of the same name, and both the film and novel were once very popular in Finland. There are some truly memorable lines uttered, like "Man is never forgiven" and "there's nothing supernatural about war, it's just one work like anything else". The only star that is missing from the highest score is due to the fact that this is an adaptation and not an original movie story.
  • First of all, You have to give points for pulling off using humouristic elements as brilliantly as this, to describe something as dreadful as war. There aren't many movies that have achieved that without feeling constrained, or more or less morally repulsive. Kubrick and Coppola were masters of that section, and Veli-Matti Saikkonen doesn't come far behind with his interpretation of Veijo Meri's classic novel.

    Manillaköysi has an endless list of classic one-liners, but it's still not based on cheap laughs or anything like that. The whole humouristic aspect of it comes from describing the absurdity of war, and the whole military system, by looking it with the eyes of a simple man, who's thrown into it, and who simply doesn't give a rat's ass of it all.

    The tone of it isn't overly preachy or moralizing. If I would have to describe it with one word, it would be: unglamourizing. The main point of Manillaköysi is pretty much compressed in one of the most famous quotes of it: "There's nothing supernatural about war, it's just work like anything else."
  • Petey-1012 October 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    It is the time of Continuation War in Finland.Private Joose Keppilä finds a piece of manila hemp and decides to smuggle it home by tying it around his body.The rope is tied tightly around his body, and in the train he turns blue ands feels nauseous.Manillaköysi (1976) is made for TV and it's directed by Veli-Matti Saikkonen.It's based on the novel written by Veijo Meri in 1957.I have not read the book, but the movie is terrific.Erkki Pajala is outstanding in the lead.He won a Jussi award for his performance as the suffering private Joose Keppilä.Leila Itkonen is marvelous playing his wife Elviira.Vesa Mäkelä does great job as Fiksu.You have to like the performance of Esko Hukkanen, who plays Vääpeli.Martti Kuningas is great as Iso.Hannu Kahakorpi is amazing as Seonnut alikersantti.Iris-Lilja Lassila does fine job playing Sylvia.Mikko Nousiainen is marvelous as Keittiömies.Kari Franck is very good in his role as Hullu katolla.Harri Tirkkonen is great as Lääkäri.Martti Kainulainen gives a funny performance as Asemamies.Jaakko Nuotio plays Poika.Antti Hytti is Soittaja and Henri Kapulainen plays his player friend.Asko Sarkola and Pirkka-Pekka Petelius in his debut movie play Sotapoliisi.Heikki Nousiainen is Korpraali.Manillaköysi shows the absurdity of war in a brilliant way.The scene where the corporal shoots towards his own men claiming they're Russians is most memorable.Vääpeli goes to him, trying to use some psychology, but gets shot.The dream sequences are surreal.There's the big pig slaughter, when the soldiers find those animals eating the corpses.And when the mad man is about to jump off the roof of the asylum.Vääpeli threatens to topple the house if he doesn't come down.He comes down.Humor has a big role in this movie.Laughing is one of our few privileges when death comes near us.