Finnish with English subtitles
In cinemas and streaming
Palace Electric Canberra
Thursday 26 May 2022
This is a very disturbing film – not simply because of the horror elements but because it is an exploration of a contemporary toxic mother-child relationship and the destructive nature of a modern social media driven society in which perfection or the illusion of it is seen as the only image we should project to the world.
The story centres on Tinja, a 12-year-old gymnast desperate to please her mother, a woman obsessed with presenting the image of a perfect family to the world through her popular vlog. Tinja tries to realise her mother’s lost dreams by succeeding in gymnastics.
At the same time, her mother treats her sometimes as an adult friend in whom she confides about her extra-marital affair and sometimes as a naughty and disappointing child.
This is the real horror of the story for me. It’s also then perhaps a just resolution when Tinja’s alter-ego eventually ‘hatches’ from the egg she is nurturing (doing her own mothering whilst suffering from a lack of it herself) and brings with it unspeakable cruelty and terror for all of her family, friends and community.
This is a clever film. We know what’s happening and we know what’s coming but it still scares the pants off us. Excellent performances by Siiri Solalinna as Tinja/Alli Sophia Heikkilä as her Mother, well supported by all the others.
The film has been very well received by audiences with high praise for the director Hanna Bergholm. It’s not my usual genre but I think its description in Rotten Tomatoes as ‘perchin[ing] between beauty and revulsion’ is apt and it sure does pack a punch with its messaging, unsubtle though this is.
- iiri Solalinna as Tinja/Alli
- Sophia Heikkilä [fi] as Mother
- Jani Volanen as Father
- Reino Nordin as Tero
- Oiva Ollila as Matias
- Saija Lentonen as Coach
- Ida Määttänen as Reetta
Thanks to Nedco for the opportunity to preview the film