Review of The Match Factory Girl (1990)
Seen in 2016.
There were two laugh-out-loud moments for me and the rest of the audience at Cinemateket: When the stepfather hands her an orange and when she sets up the random drunkard. As a tragedy it’s less effective, for two reasons. Firstly, any credible amount of talking, though contrary to Kaurismäki’s style of fantasy, would simply have prevented the central misunderstanding. Secondly, the thallium compounds in the rat poison could not possibly have killed or disabled two healthy adults in a couple of minutes without them making any noise louder than the radio. Such silly spirals of extreme violence are common in improvised scripts like this one. If it were not for the stylistic novelty, this would not have made a splash.