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Aurinkotuuli (1980) Movie Poster
Finland  •    •  122m  •    •  Directed by: Timo Linnasalo.  •  Starring: Paavo Piskonen, Lilga Kovanko, Antti Litja, Erkki Pajala, Jani Puroranta, Armi Sillanpää, Olli Alho, Antti Aro, Eino Haavisto, Seppo Sariola, Marja-Leena Keski-Kuha, Jouko Aaltonen, Masaaki Hashimoto.  •  Music by: Antti Hytti.
A scientist is cryogenically frozen in 1970 and revived thirty years later in a world where his groundbreaking research on gravity has become obsolete and he himself is even more alienated than before.


Image from: Aurinkotuuli (1980)
Inspired by his involvement in Risto Jarva's science-fiction film Ruusujen aika, producer and screenwriter Kullervo Kukkasjärvi dreamed up his own "sleeper awakes" vision of the future in his first and only novel Aurinkotuuli (The Solar Wind). It is the story of an alienated scientist who dies in 1970 and is revived from cryogenic suspension thirty years later, only to find his groundbreaking research on gravity obsolete and himself even more alienated than before.

While the actual story mostly concerns his search for meaning and belonging through love, the novel also manages to economically sketch an outline of a socially and economically changed world. Little of this speculation, and hence no sense of the future, comes across in the film. Ironically, the film's pedestrian depiction of the Millennium's edge also appears more accurate to today's audience than the richly imagined but more time-bound vision offered by Ruusujen aika. Meanwhile, the novel's literary but slyly playful first-person narration and musings on the ambiguous history of scientific progress are dumped on the hapless audience through horribly stilted dialogue by the stunningly lifeless cast of otherwise solid professionals. The few touches of genuine cinematic inspiration only serve to further confuse the hobbling narrative.

Despite its putative science-fiction premise, the film is largely a conventional and undistinguished 1970s Finnish drama about estrangement and death wish, complete with melodramatic clichés like maudlin drunkenness in a sauna. The film gains little extra depth or perspective from its premise, which generally is the whole point of such futuristic speculation. The fragile protagonist may court sympathy, but his lifelessly told story cannot hold attention. Like his life, the film ultimately becomes an exercise in futility. For all its faults, Ruusujen aika is far the superior example of Finnish filmmakers breaking free, if only for a moment, from the shackles of overdrawn literalism and realist tradition and speculating on what might be.

Review by Yrmy from the Internet Movie Database.