Dome Karukoski’s raucous road comedy is set in Finland’s far north, where the environment doesn’t exactly breed ambition – favourite pastimes for young men include sleeping, drinking and sleeping some more.
Janne has chosen to sleep-in for the last few years rather than fulfill a promise of buying a television converter for his girlfriend, Irina. This hasn’t bothered her much, but today turns out to be different. When Irina finds out that Janne spent the money for the converter on drinks with his friends Raha and Kapu, she offers an ultimatum: get it by first thing tomorrow morning or get out. Janne badgers Raha to take his mother’s car and get them to the nearest town. En route, they encounter a water polo team comprised of killer lesbians, homicidal cabbies, hypothermia and Little Mikko, the only financially successful man in the village.
Can Janne swallow his pride and ask for help when he needs it? Can he ever show enough maturity to commit to a future with Irina? Lampooning prejudices and assumptions about Finns, Lapland Odyssey runs at a breakneck pace, full of twists, turns and unexpected catastrophes. It may also be the hippest, freshest comedy to emerge from Finland in years.
Steve Gravestock, Toronto International Film Festival