A Patriotic Man
Isänmaallinen mies
Finland (FI), 2013, 97 minutes, SD
A Patriotic Man Synopsis

Unemployed typesetter Toivo's life is about to change in this gloriously retro Finnish comedy that injects a fresh dose of laughs in a very unexpected doping scandal!


Down on his luck Toivo is encouraged by wife Pirkko to do something useful with himself, so he decides to be a model citizen and donate blood. Except what courses through Toivo's veins isn't your average hemoglobin - turns out it is super-charged rocket fuel! As soon as Toivo's super juice has been extracted, the Finnish national ski team catches on and hires him to join their 'technical division' as a human blood-tank, leading Finland’s brightest star Aino to ski to the top of the world rankings. But when a disaster occurs, jeopardizing their Olympic Games goal, the Finnish team are forced to use Toivo for other means...

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Reviewed by nikkareyes
This film tackles the nasty side of sports, the complex doping scheme that could make or break athletes, in its entirety, a rather depressing news in the sports world. On... more
This film tackles the nasty side of sports, the complex doping scheme that could make or break athletes, in its entirety, a rather depressing news in the sports world. On the other hand, there's a poignant story that unfolds, that of Tovio's, a down-on-his-luck man who finds his way to the national ski team, thanks to his potent blood. He struggles with the moral dimension but all the while he's told that it's "for the good of his country".  Eye-opening and with a gentle comedic sense, director Halonen, known for films like Pavlov's Dogs and The Tank Man was able to engage viewers to the story but also with the cast,  particularly with Tovio's character, who was well-established in the movie. If you're a sports enthusiast or fond of winter sports like skiing then this will surely be to your liking.  
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Reviewed by edwinjamescalin
I am not too keen when it comes to winter sports but this film piqued my interest in skiing and the scandals that have become too prevalent in the sporting... more
I am not too keen when it comes to winter sports but this film piqued my interest in skiing and the scandals that have become too prevalent in the sporting world. While everyone else may have been familiar with  athletes in tennis, swimming and basketball getting expelled or penalized for using drugs, it is not so different with winter sports, after all. In this case,  Toivo (Suasalo) is the medium or the person with the patriotic duty to share his extraordinary blood to skiing athletes like Aino (Pamela Tola) for their chance to increase their ranking. Director Halonen candidly combines humor and drama while keeping the story interesting enough. Laudable performances from the lead characters although I have to admit, Pirjo Lonka as Pirkko, Toivo's wife was a scene stealer as a nagger of a wife. Check this out  especially if you're into sports. 
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  • Only the Finns could make a film as bonkers as this.

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  • Only the Finns could make a film as bonkers as this.
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