Lights in the Dusk (Laitakaupungin valot)
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Lights in the Dusk (Laitakaupungin valot)
A lonely night watchman finds love but comes to regret it in this offbeat comedy from Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki. Koistinen (Janne Hyytiainen) works as a security guard at a shopping mall in Helsinki, where he keeps an eye on the place after hours. Koistinen is a quiet nebbish who doesn't have much luck with women, and the closest thing he has to a girlfriend is Aila (Maria Heiskanen), a woman who runs a sausage cart Koistinen frequents after work, though he doesn't realize she carries a torch for him. Koistinen is killing time in a shabby café when he meets Mirja (Maria… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Kaurismaki creates some beautiful frames, carefully composing his affectless characters against the rooms' colors, but there's something wrong with your story when people are upstaged by the decor."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"The director's existential sarcasm is muted here."
‑ Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times
"Though it's the weakest of the three panels that form Kaurismaki's trilogy, which began with Drifting Clouds in 1996, it's still worth seeing."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"It's exactly the picture he wanted to make; that's for sure. But in this case that's not quite enough."
‑ Shawn Levy, Oregonian
"There is an admirable rigor here and even a brief touch of sunshine, but almost none of the humor that marks [Kaurismaki's] best work."
‑ Andy Klein, Los Angeles CityBeat
"It's a deceptively satisfying, almost magical achievement, like being stranded in a desert yet never going thirsty."
‑ Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
"The distance Kaurismki creates belies his deeply humanistic streak. He engages characters in the direst of situations not to see them suffer but to search for hope."
‑ Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times
"Un relato crudo, probablemente desconcertante y extrañamente tragicómico, sólo para seguidores incondicionales del director, que repite su estilo sin sorpresas."
‑ Enrique Buchichio, Uruguay Total
"Kaurismäki's spare style and economical storytelling are well-suited to this particular story about loneliness, as the director never muddies the frame with sentimental dross or lugubrious inclinations."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"So dry it's parched, this study of a passive loser whose life just keeps getting worse is basically a series of noir cliches clothed in arthouse anomie."
‑ Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News
"Kaurismäki is self-consciously tapping into the raw pathos of an earlier time in cinema (the pain and loss that often accompanied Charles Chaplin's Little Tramp, for example). The idea works, though it is finally wearing."
‑ Tom Keogh, Seattle Times
"As a dry comedy or a social allegory, Lights in the Dusk is anemic."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"A wholly satisfying comic-existential bit of fluff."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Aki Kaurismaki's gloomy take on film noir... is pure Kaurismaki, done in the director's inimitable deadpan and surreally dispassionate style and grim sensibility."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"The downbeat tone of Lights in the Dusk just escapes offense and self-parody due to Kaurismäki's careful, subtle craftsmanship."
‑ Armond White, New York Press
More reviews for Lights in the Dusk (Laitakaupungin valot) on Rotten Tomatoes