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The Cuckoo [DVD] [2003]

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

Price: £26.99
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Product details

  • Actors: Anni-Kristiina Juuso, Ville Haapasalo, Viktor Bychkov, Mikhail Korobochkin, Aleksei Kashnikov
  • Directors: Aleksandr Rogozhkin
  • Writers: Aleksandr Rogozhkin
  • Producers: Sergey Selyanov
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Finnish, German, Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Sept. 2004
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002HSDUA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,782 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Offbeat World War 2 drama set in rural Lapland. A few days before Finland pulls out of the war, a Finnish sniper, Veiko (Ville Haapasalo) is left chained to a rock after being accused by his compatriots of being a pacifist and a reluctant fighter. But Veiko manages to unhinge the chains and break free. He then befriends a young reindeer farmer, Anni (Anni-Kristiina Juuso), whose husband has never returned after being drafted into the Finnish army four years earlier. Also living on the farm with Anni is an AWOL Russian soldier, Ivan (Viktor Bychkov), whose life Anni saved after he was nearly killed in a nearby bombing . Both men continue to hide on the farm until they can safely return home, although none of the three speak the same language. All three continue to talk in their own native tongues, with consequences that vary from funny to devastating. As the unlikely trio gather food and prepare the farm for the long Lapp winter, love, jealousy and a series of misunderstandings cause the dynamic between them to shift and intensify.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
After dinner we all moved into the living room for some idiots idea to watch a strange movie they had picked up called the Cuckoo. The back cover suggested little to be excited about so I sat down for what I expected to be a rather heavy plod of slow deep conversation. I was wrong.
The movie starts fast and doesn't give hints as to where it's going, the three main actors, two soldiers (one finnish and one russian) and a lapplander do not share a language so blather on in their own languages in the hope of communication, we as an audience see the humourous miscommunication in the subtitles and there are some really great comic situations as well.
The film is visually beautiful and full of life and essentially about people hearing what they want to hear regardless of the language it's in, by the people speaking different languages this is highlighted. the actors are great and really flesh out their respective cultures well.
Overall a good buy for those looking for a good foreign movie from the chilly north.
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A subtle, tightly constructed film set in the far north of Finnish Lapland at the end of World War II, "The Cuckoo" is based on a triangle of two men and a woman who have no language in common and no contact with other people. It explores questions of perception and misconception, language, understanding and misunderstanding, personal relationships, idealism and war. There are some highly enertaining mmoments, and the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful.
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I bought this expecting something much more gory and dramatic (from the looks of the cover you'd think it was some kind of horror movie) but the film did not disappoint even though it was very slow-paced and mystical.
The premise of the film hinges largely on the mutual incomprehensibility of the three main characters, and it would be interesting to watch it as a Finnish speaker (I speak Russian very badly) to see just how incompatible Sami and Finnish actually are. Anny evidently understands Veiko more than Kartuzov (or "Sholty", as Veiko calls him after Kartuzov misunderstands his original question), but the biggest comedy is naturally between Kartuzov and Anny, over his eating arrangements and her ...proclivities towards the Finn. This is managed beautifully, but the action was too prolonged to be really tight and dramatic, and one started to yell at them to hurry up. Even though it was meant to be slow, the pace could have been quickened just slightly, to enhance the drama and the comedy of errors.
The good thing is that although Anny Juuso plays the part of the peasant woman with great dignity and attention to ethnic detail, there is no glorification of such a lifestyle, with "Cuckoo" being as prosaic as the next, describing her life as being like a fox eating its own dung if she doesn't get enough fish in for the winter, among other earthy metaphors. It is clear from the Russian-language documentary on the DVD that all three main characters are playing themselves, in a sense; Haapsalo and Bychkov are soldier material, and Juuso is earth mother, although in an electric blue catsuit rather than Sami ethnic dress.
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This is a strange film. About a love triangle between a Finn, A Russian and a Lapp, none of whom speak each others language. Set in WWII it is unclear whether in 1940 or 1944. I found the beginning quite confusing as if a few minutes had been cut from the very start. I think it helps to know that some German soldiers have captured a Finn sniper and leave him in no mans land dressed in a SS uniform so he cannot surrender to the Russians. The main focus of the film is not the war, this is just a device to get the 3 protaganists together. The film is very gentle and I loved the female lead Anny Kristiine Juuso, if she is any other films I need to see more. She is cute yet also very sexual. The only problem apart from the start is the strange sexual moaning of the actress which is (unintentionally?) comic and the rather unsatisfactory pen-ultimate scene when the russian and finn soldiers leave our lapp heroine. No sex scenes or nudity so don't waste your money if that is what you want but it is gently erotic and funny.
Why thrice a cuckoo?
1. a cuckoo is a name for a sniper
2. a cuckoo doesn't bring up its own young
3. the heroines name is cuckoo
Could have been a 5 with a little more, made in a hurry and it shows a little, one of the few films I have seen that needs more, rather than editing down.
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Was looking forward to watching this film after reading all the good reviews. Was however disappointed to see that the box says audio in French. Will therefore not unseal the box so that I can return the item and search for an edition that allows us to listen to the actors...
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Very few characters. Appart from the beginning you only get to see the 3 main characters. A Finnish sniper that betrayed his troop and is left to die, a Russian soldier that is the only survivor of an attack of his convoy and a Saami woman living alone after her husband died in the war. She takes them both in not bothered with the politics between them and falls in love with both of them which leads to some funny situations. Neither speak each others language and the whole film they each talk their own language to each other which leads of course to even more funny situations. But the end result they learn through her to set aside their differences. This film is very original.
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