“Sisu” is a Finnish word that cannot be translated. It means a white- knuckled form of courage and unimaginable determination. The movie begins with this information shared with us and if you are a part of the audience that had no clue what to expect from a movie as such and had no time to catch the two minutes odd trailer that came your way, you are in for a ride. Read further to know more.
Peace has eluded Aatami Korpi, an ex- soldier for very long. As he decides to leave the war behind him, he stumbles across heaps of gold in one of the mines. Now that the second world war is coming to an end, Korpi decides to make up for the adversities of his grief- stricken life until then and sets out to sell the gold off to a bank. A violent confrontation with a Nazi group of soldiers on the way leads to a deadly fight between them that is something neither the Nazis were prepared for and neither were we as the audience. How and if Korpi manages to secure his gold and oust the Nazis is the rest of the story.
A lot of people who have watched the movie have been comparing it to John Wick on grounds of similar action oriented experiences. Audiences and critics have found the movie surprisingly good to the extent that one of the reviews regarded it as one step ahead of John Wick. Much of the comparison stems from the fact that the smart packaging of high- octane action with thrills really augurs well for the narrative. The action sequences are filled with bloodshed gore and director Jalmari Helander has no qualms about presenting the movie the way it is. The audience is expected to pick up the references, soak in the pain Korpi has gone through and when the time comes, the viewer undeniably picks up the side of the Nazi killing machine who “just wouldn’t give up”. Jorma Tommila who plays Aatami is only given a couple of dialogues to work with in the entire movie and the movie rests on his able shoulders to take it forward. His snarls, growls land well. His frail, scarred body portrays years of horrors faced in the wars and yet he possesses the determination to not give up at any point of time. This even drives the locals to address him as “immortal”. Jorma plays the character with sheer understanding of the expectations of the makers and audiences alike and delivers a standout performance.
The screenplay is unapologetically fun. It is a no- brainer that the plot mostly written on the back of an used tissue paper is nothing new. But the way the makers decide to make the audience believe and root for a man with an unbelievable ability to survive incredible amounts of violence at the hands of his perpetrators whom he then eliminates with utter disdain is a masterstroke. So is the casting. The movie with a runtime of 90 odd minutes also makes it easy for the audience to engage with the narrative and soak in the absolute pleasure of watching a “one- man army” that strangely 80s and 90s Hollywood cinema used to churn out on a regular basis but we have pretty less of it these days. On the flip side, Sisu also has a very limited offering in terms of storytelling and some of the logic defying sequences might not sit well with the regular movie watcher. Of course, I conveniently ignored them for the greater good.
Sisu is what you call a movie made to quench the thirst of action aficionados. Shot stylishly with a runtime of 90 odd minutes, this is an absolute thrilling ride that you would definitely want to be a part of. To spring out of nowhere and make such noise, Sisu deserves all the appreciation that is coming its way. With a terrific performance from the lead actor and an honest, unpretentious treatment of the wafer thin script, Sisu has to be regarded as one of the finest action movies to have been made in recent times. I am going with 3.5 stars out of 5.