|DARKNESS IN TALLINN (CITY UNPLUGGED) (director: Ilkka Järvi-Laturi; screenwriter: Paul Kolsby; cinematographer: Rein Kotov; editor: Christopher Tellefsen; music: Mader; cast: Ivo Uukkivi (Tovio), Milena Gulbe (Maria), Monika Mäge (Terje), Enn Klooren (Mihhail), Väinö Laes (Andres), Peeter Oja (Dimitri), Jüri Järvet (Anton), Villem Indrikson (Kallas), Andres Raag (Contreras, Gerardo); Runtime: 99; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Lasse Saarinen; Filmhaus; 1993-Finland/USA/Sweden/Estonia-in Estonian with English subtitles)|
|"It's much more than a thriller."
by Dennis Schwartz
A really good heist film (better
than most Hollywood entries). The solid script by
offers a pleasing
sardonic black comedy. Half the film, the part
during the robbery, is wonderfully shot in
black-and-white by Manhattan residing Finnish
filmmaker Ilkka Järvi-Laturi ("Spy
Games"/"Homebound"/"History is Made at Night"). When
the lights come on, the film goes into color.
"Tallinn" was made in Estonia, a former Soviet
country, in its exotic but sinister locales. The noir
photography by Rein Kotov is spot-on.
We learn that during WW II Estonia sent its gold reserves to a Paris bank for security. Fifty years later, in 1991, the new state of Estonia requests back its $970 million in gold. This interests the ruthless Russian mafia, who plan to steal it from the central bank located in the capital at Tallinn. Their plan is to shut down the electric grid to the city of Tallinn. The thieves scheme to break into the central bank, storing the gold, and then transport the gold to a nearby cigarette factory, where it will be melted down, packaged as golden cigarettes and exported. The mafia hire colorful locals to carry out the operation. One of them is the reluctant Toivo (Ivo Uukkivi), an impoverished young electrician who in a prior crime helped the gang in a caviar-smuggling operation. Toivo's wife Maria (Milena Gulbe) is seven months pregnant, while he's assigned to disconnect the electrical circuits in the power plant.
much more than a thriller, as the film gives one a
good picture of the region's dire political
situation, its vast poverty, the heartless criminal
gangs that operate there and Estonia's lack of good
REVIEWED ON 3/13/2016 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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