Release dateMarch 1, 2002 (2002-03-01) SongsDo the Shake CastMarkku Peltola (The Man Without A Past), Kati Outinen (Irma), Juhani Niemelä (Nieminen), Kaija Pakarinen (Kaisa Nieminen), Sakari Kuosmanen (Antila) Similar moviesThe Bourne Supremacy, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Spider-Man 3, 50 First Dates, Memento, The Bourne Identity
The man without a past paha vaanii
The Man Without a Past (Finnish: Mies vailla menneisyyttä) is a 2002 Finnish comedy-drama film produced, written, and directed by Aki Kaurismäki. Starring Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen and Juhani Niemelä, it is the second installment in Kaurismäki's Finland trilogy, the other two films being Drifting Clouds (1996) and Lights in the Dusk (2006). The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002 and won the Grand Prix at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
The film begins with an unnamed man arriving by train to Helsinki. After falling asleep in Kaisaniemi Park, he is mugged and beaten by hoodlums and is severely injured in the head, losing consciousness. He awakes and wanders back to the train station and collapses in its bathroom. He awakes the second time in a hospital and finds that he has lost his memory. He starts his life from scratch, living in container dwellings, finding clothes with help from the Salvation Army and making friends with the poor.
Markku Peltola as M
Kati Outinen as Irma
Juhani Niemelä as Nieminen
Kaija Pakarinen as Kaisa Nieminen
Sakari Kuosmanen as Anttila
Annikki Tähti as Manager of Flea Market
Anneli Sauli as Bar Owner
Elina Salo as Dock Clerk
Outi Mäenpää as Bank Clerk
Esko Nikkari as Bank Robber
Pertti Sveholm as Police Detective
Matti Wuori as himself (lawyer)
Aino Seppo as Ex-wife
Janne Hyytiäinen as Ovaskainen
Antti Reini as Electrician
The Man Without a Past was co-produced by the Finnish companies Sputnik and YLE, the German companies Bavaria Film Studios and Pandora Filmproduktion and the French company Pyramide Productions.
The film received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 98%, based on 95 critics, with an average rating of 8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Kaurismäki delivers another droll comedy full of his trademark humor." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 84 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Roger Ebert awarded the film three-and-a-half stars out of 4, saying he "felt a deep but indefinable contentment". Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter said the film "contains not one false note. It is the work of an artist fully in control of his art." Barbara Scharres of the Chicago Reader said that Kaurismäki "perfects his trademark formula of deadpan humor and arctic circle pathos in this brilliantly ironic 2002 comedy."