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This Finnish movie only works if you are fully on board with the characters. I wasn’t, so the film left me underwhelmed.

One of the most tried and tested tricks in screenwriting is to put two characters who are total opposites into a confined space and let the inevitable drama unfold. This is exactly what Compartment No. 6 does by forcing a cultured young Finnish woman and a rugged Russian miner together for a long journey in a mostly privacy-free train compartment.

The trick only works however if you are fully on board with the motivations of the characters and the ensuing way they react towards each other. It is here that Compartment No. 6 - which won the Grand Prix at the most recent Cannes film festival and missed an Oscar nom in the International Film category by a whisker - for the most part lost me.

While the acting of the two leads, Seidi Haarla and Yuri Borisov, cannot be faulted, the plot forces them into situations | could never envision two real-life opposites going along with so easily. The movie still has some decent moments though and the prominent use of eighties hit Voyage Voyage definitely had me humming, but overall Compartment No. 6 left me underwhelmed.

release: 2021

director: Juho Kuosmanan

starring: Seidi Haarla, Yuriy Borisov, Dinara Drukarova, Julia Aug


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