Hymyilevä mies

April 18th, 2017


Hymyilevä mies

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Release Year: 2016

Rating: 7.4/10 ( voted)

Critic's Score: /100

Director: Juho Kuosmanen

Stars: Oona Airola, Eero Milonoff, Jarkko Lahti

The true story of Olli Mäki, the famous Finnish boxer who had a shot at the 1962 World Featherweight title. Immensely talented and equally modest, Olli's small town life is transformed when he is swept into national stardom and suddenly regarded as a symbol of his country. There's only one problem: Olli has just fallen in love. Inside of the ring, it's Finland vs. the USA, but outside, boxing and romance become unlikely adversaries vying for Olli's attention. This charming feature debut from Juho Kuosmanen was awarded the Un Certain Regard Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Writers: Juho Kuosmanen, Mikko Myllylahti, Oona Airola, Eero Milonoff, Jarkko Lahti, Oona Airola, Eero Milonoff, Jarkko Lahti, Esko Barquero, Joonas Saartamo, Joanna Haartti, Mika Melender, John Bosco Jr., Marko Wilskman, Pia Andersson, Ilkka Pekkarinen, Olli Rahkonen, Olli Mäki, Raija Mäki, Niklas Hyvärinen, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Oona Airola - Raija Mäki
Eero Milonoff - Elis Ask
Jarkko Lahti - Olli Mäki
Esko Barquero - Snadi
Joonas Saartamo - Boxer
Joanna Haartti - Laila Ask
Mika Melender - Ravintolan johtaja
John Bosco Jr. - Davey Moore
Marko Wilskman - Extra
Pia Andersson - Miss Suomi
Ilkka Pekkarinen - Reportteri lehdistötilaisuudessa
Olli Rahkonen - Nyrkkeilijä, Askin Talli
Olli Mäki - Vanha pariskunta
Raija Mäki - Vanha pariskunta
Niklas Hyvärinen - Nyrkkeilijä, Askin Talli

Taglines: As fiercely talented as he is modest, Finnish boxer Olli Mäki is swept into national stardom as he trains for a once-in-a-lifetime fight against the World Featherweight Champion. There's only one problem: he's just fallen in love.


Official Website: Official site [Finland]

Country: Finland, Sweden, Germany

Language: Finnish, English

Release Date: 3 Jan 2016

Filming Locations: Vartiosaari, Helsinki, Finland

Box Office Details

Budget: €1,200,000 (estimated)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Director Juho Kuosmanen, producer Jussi Rantamäki, actor Jarkko Lahti, actress Oona Airola and the real Olli Mäki whom Lahti plays in the film, are all from the city of Kokkola. See more »

A modern switchboard housing can be briefly seen in the hallway of Elis Ask's apartment. See more »

User Review


Rating: 7/10

This is a Finnish sport-biopic that was an official submission for the 2017 Oscars, but did not make it. Despite inspired by a real person, the film only focused on one event, a big event of his life. Sets in the early 60s, the country's one of the biggest sporting event is about to take place. So the pre-event incidents, including the preparation and all those related affairs were detailed in this film.

It's hard to say that everybody would end up liking it. Especially the sport segment. That's a major drawback of the film, but the other way around this is still very good. Only if you are okay with the facts over entertainment. So as I'm who already saw the film want to give a piece of advice for those who are yet to see it that watch it as a romance film. Yep, it is a better romance film than a boxing film. That's not how the pre developments swings, but it gets there a little late and then ends with an unexpected twist.

An amateur boxer Olli Maki got a shot at pro boxing, so he's heading Helsinki and making preparation to face the strongest opponent coming from the United States. Not just for him, but for the whole country, it is a historical event. So the pressure is on Olli's team to make the right progress, especially to please their sponsors. Seems it was a smooth ride, until Olli find himself in an unwanted distraction, particularly at that time which is a turning point in his professional life. This is the flavour of romance and the boxing, can those two go along? Is what the remaining film carefully revealed.

❝This is the shittiest moment to fall in love.❞

Like any sports films we had seen, this film as well all about pre event hype and the final act is given to the grand finale on the ring. Looks 'Cutie and the Boxer' should have been a perfect title, but this is nothing like that documentary film. It was not Olli's whole life, it was his falling and rising. Falling in love and rising to be a great boxer in Finland. But the problem is, both the things happening on the same time. More like romance versus profession. It's off the ring battle for Olli and can he win it, followed by a real battle.

Now you would remember other awesome boxing films where love story and boxing had met like 'Rocky', 'Cinderella Man' and many more. This film is not comparable with them, that's the saddest part of it. It's a black and white film, and the filmmakers say that's because to take us 60 years back to Finland. They used film rolls like the old way of filmmaking. Indeed, it worked, it was the backbone of the film along the great cast. There are many characters, but revolved around only 3-4. The dialogues were minimised and let the pictures talk.

The good news it was a 90 minute film with a decent pace. The one who played Olli was really good, but even in little lesser than that role, Raija enchants us. I can't forget that smile, it still appears front my eyes. Not just Olli, you might as well fall for her (at least for the actress who player that character). I also come to know the real couple's cameo for a brief was in the final scene. This is not the finest Finnish film I've seen, but I respect biopics as they tell the truth. It seems a better film for the older and matured guys, like above 30-35. But stay away if you are looking for a pleasure.



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