Pähkähullu Suomi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Pähkähullu Suomi
Pähkähullu Suomi cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Jukka Virtanen
Produced by Spede Pasanen
Written by Spede Pasanen,
Ere Kokkonen,
Jukka Virtanen
Starring Spede Pasanen,
Simo Salminen,
Esko Salminen,
Leo Jokela
Distributed by Filmituotanto Spede Pasanen Ky
Release dates
Running time
1 h 24 min
Language Finnish

Pähkähullu Suomi (Insane Finland) is a 1967 comedy by Spede Pasanen. It is occasionally cited as one of the best sources for his abstract sense of humour since the film has very little in the sense of plot and is more of a montage of various events. Some critics tend to call the film a "feature-length travel advertisement of Finland" rather than a movie because the main-characters manage to effectively cover every Finnish tourist-trap in the duration of the film. Coincidentally the film was released on the year of the 50th anniversary of the Finnish declaration of independence.

Plot summary[edit]

The film is set to a frame-narrative about a film director and producer making a marketing film about Finland, using the visit of the son of a wealthy hair-creme tycoon, William Njurmi (Pasanen), as the premise. For the first two thirds, the film's events take place according to a conversation between the producer, director and a random Finnish tax-payer frozen by the narrator at the beginning of the film.

William Njurmi, born and raised in the USA, is visiting the home of his ancestors who were Finnish. After an expansive tour and excessive time spent at a sauna Njurmi escapes the Finnish welcoming committee, runs into the woods and gets mistaken for a deer. He also walks in on an exercise held by the Finnish Armed Forces.

Later, Njurmi runs into an inventor living in the woods (played by Spede's typical partner-in-crime, Simo Salminen) named Simo. After Njurmi is almost forced to marry a farm-girl by her redneck in-laws he is saved by Simo. Though Njurmi is open about his identity Simo remains in disbelief until Njurmi returns to the Commerce Council but not before the pair steal a car and tour the country, effectively covering every tourist-location in Finland.

Becoming fed up with the Commerce Council Njurmi replaces himself with his body-guard, a stereotypical Italian mobster named Luigi (Esko Salminen) with full rights to use Njurmi's name and wealth whilst he and Simo continue to go about Finland unrecognised. It is at this point that the director and producer from the beginning of the film, removing their wigs and revealing themselves to be bald, turn out to be undercover agents for a party that is never identified during the film.

Meanwhile Luigi is constantly harassed by the Finnish Commerce Council who are trying to get a sizable donation often pleading pitifully. Eventually Luigi gives them a check but not before he has seen traditional Finnish winter-sports and dated the Miss Finland. Eventually Luigi is caught double-timing by his wife effectively terminating his role from the rest of the film.

The film itself ends with Will and Simo being chased by the agents and fighting them off as they do. The chase ends at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki where after Njurmi and Simo fight off dozens of agents Njurmi decides to marry a Finnish girl who just conveniently shows up. However the woman is also an agent, revealed when she removes her wig too.

Afterwards Simo runs into the scene where Luigi had dumped Miss Finland into a swimming pool when his wife showed up. Simo then breaks the fourth wall by talking to the narrator asking "What the heck is going on?" since he hasn't understood what's been going on for the past 15 minutes. He is then given a very brief and somewhat inaccurate explanation of the plot. Simo however seems to have no troubles understanding and after saving Miss Finland from the swimming pool the following dialogue ensues:

  • Simo: Let's go.
  • Girl: Where?
  • Simo: To get married of course. That's what everyone else is doing.

The movie ends with Simo winking at the camera as the frame freezes and the words "Happy End" appear on screen.

The comedy[edit]

The comedy of the film is not based so much around gags and joke build-up, but in Spede's specific style on the over-explanation of things as well as puns and often jokes based on common Finnish stereotypes.

The movie also displays a (for the time) high use of special-effects and linguistic jokes. The name of the protagonist "Njurmi" is a corrupted form of a real Finnish surname (Nurmi = grass) which is spelled in accordance to how most English-speaking people (particularly Americans) typically pronounce the name. Also one short scene is particularly famous for its mixed language value:

  • Njurmi: "Let's go!"
  • Simo: "Mitä?" (What?)
  • Njurmi: "Lähdetään!" (Let's go!)
  • Simo: "Lähdetään, lähdetään, mutta kerro ensin mitä se "let's go" tarkoittaa. (Let's go, let's go, but first tell me what "let's go" means)

Many parts of the film are made up of skits which continually break the fourth wall. At the beginning of the film the narrator freezes a secondary character in order to use him at a proper moment during the film. The skit which ensues later has three characters arguing what is the appropriate dance for a summer-dance (an event inside the film) and during the argument the costumes and dance-styles change with each argument (from Tango and Go-Go to Folk-dance).

Also many sections of the film are build in montage form.

External links[edit]