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Sisu Review: A kickass and gritty film!

Jalmari Helander’s thin screenplay rests on Jorma Tommila’s shoulders, even despite the fact that he doesn’t have much dialogue to work with.



A still from Sisu


Director: Jalmari Helander

Cast: Jorma Tommila, Mimosa Willamo, Onni Tommila, Jack Doolan, Tatu Sinisalo and Aksel Hennie

Platform of Release: Theatrical


By Jyothi Venkatesh

The film set during the Lapland War sets out to focus on the traumatic period during the last desperate days of WWII, when a solitary prospector Koschei The immortal (Jorma Tommila) crosses paths with Nazis on a scorched-earth retreat in northern Finland. When the Nazis steal his gold, they quickly discover that they have just tangled with no ordinary miner.

The protagonist, also known as Aatami Korpi, is a lot like the Bear Jew from Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Bastards—a man of mystery whose nearly superhuman proclivity for killing Nazis leaves the Third Reich in awe and fear. The legendary ex-commando embodies what Sisu exactly means: a white-knuckled form of courage and unimaginable determination in the face of overwhelming odds.

The film has been divided into six different chapters- The Gold, The Nazis, Minefields, The Legends, Scorched Earth and Kill ‘em All. No matter what the Nazis throw at him, the one-man death squad goes to outrageous lengths to get his gold back – even if it means killing every last Nazi in his path.

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What is really astounding about this film is the fact with practically very little dialogue; the director sets out to tell the very simple story of a brutal killing machine taking down several Nazis in the hazy days following the end of World War II. A version of the title basically means “Immortal,” and the protagonist here is that kind of Mad Max maniac, a former soldier tired of all the bullshit and just wants to go home.

Jorma Tommila plays a lone survivor on a desolate landscape in the vast Northern Finland when he finds a gold deposit that could change his life forever. He packs up the scattered pieces of gold and heads for the hills, but a convoy of menacing fleeing Third Reich officers and soldiers happens to stumble on his journey.

Led by a vicious SS officer (Aksel Hennie), these greedy bad guys want the gold for themselves and don’t think much of tussling with an old prospector to get it. However, they soon discover that this is no ordinary wanderer as he outthinks and outlasts them in every way, often bouncing up after violence that would kill the most ordinary men.

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Jalmari Helander’s thin screenplay rests on Jorma Tommila’s shoulders, even despite the fact that he doesn’t have much dialogue to work with. Nevertheless, he carries a formidable larger than life screen presence that makes Aatami’s reputation feel legitimate.

To sum up, I would say that Sisu is a kickass and gritty one-man action which is a feisty actioner with true grit, delivering uncomplicated fun with pops of humor and extreme brutality that creeps up on you through the lingering set pieces.

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