It’s at all times nice to have a film kick off with a chunk of music you want, so the sound of Roxy Music’s “Love Is The Drug” over the opening credit of “Compartment No. 6” introduced a simple smile to my face. However, because the film minimize to a cool/vigorous social gathering scene in a Moscow flat, attended principally by folks seemingly of their thirties, I had to withstand it for a second.
Would this be a type of film by which a Director of a Sure Age bestows his personal musical tastes on a social contingent youthful than his personal? As a result that’s probably a demerit. Such issues do take an again burner as director Juho Kuosmanen’s inquisitive cell digicam wanders by the social gathering. Laura (Seidi Haarla) is a seemingly insecure visitor at this to-do. When she enters a room the place some decidedly academic-casual characters are taking part in “determine that quote,” she’s one-upped by the lady working the sport, and in an insinuatingly humiliating manner. Later, we discover Laura’s Finnish, in Moscow to study the language, and that the lady who humiliated her is her lover right here.
Quickly Laura is on a prepare, within the title compartment, on a several-day journey. The truth that she takes movies on a camcorder and tries to name her erstwhile lover—who was supposed to come back on this trek along with her—from a payphone clue us in: this can be an interval image, set in a time previous to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The prepare is fairly shabby however has an egalitarian bunk coverage: Laura’s compartment mate is a man, a seeming lout with a shaved head named Ljoha, who’s headed for a similar spot as Laura.
That spot is Murmansk, the place Laura hopes to soak up the petroglyphs (that’s rock carvings to you). Ljoha goes there to work. He jokes to Laura that she could be headed to Murmansk to be an intercourse employee to staff resembling him. And he places it much more crudely than that, which instantly repels Laura.
Tailored from a well-liked Finnish novel by Rosa Liksom, “Compartment No. 6,” which gained the Grand Prix on the 2021 Cannes Movie Pageant, is an efficient alternative to place your cash the place your mouth is for those who’re involved about the way forward for character-driven dramatic movies. Seidi Haarla as Laura has a slight early-Zellweger vibe. Her character is all uncooked pores and skin and has a cloudy emotional climate. Yuriy Borisov’s Ljoha is wiry and equally anxious another way, instantly possessive of Laura at the same time as he intentionally alienates one another. Laura’s Russian is okay, however hardly fluent, and Ljoha is just not essentially the most articulate man, and a language joke on the film’s outset units up to one other joke that’s resolved on the movie’s finish in a manner that’s transferring albeit a bit of too writerly.
However, that’s okay. The film’s perspective on two misplaced souls discovering one another is thoughtful and compassionate and has its toes on the bottom. It doesn’t matter what happens between the 2, it’s clear that everybody is aware of Laura and Ljoha won’t evolve into a reputable romantic couple. As a result, the film’s not about that, anyway. It’s about one thing alluded to within the film’s social gathering scene, through the citation sport. A statement is that once you’re working away, it doesn’t matter the place you’re working to like a lot because it issues the place you’re working from. “Compartment No. 6” has an at all times energetic sense of place even when it’s retaining to the confined house of its title room. Mixed with the dedicated performance, it makes for a worthwhile journey.