A lot of films claim to have a dream-like quality but, usually that just means that they are being exceptionally bizarre. People walking around with a rabbit’s head or wearing strange costumes while dancing through an alien landscape. Personally though, my dreams are much more mundane. Usually involving me pottering around and talking to random people; some I know personally, some I’ve heard of, some that are totally made up. The locations are usually somewhere I’ve been or somewhere like somewhere I’ve been.
In short, my dreams are usually of me in a coffee shop with someone I haven’t seen in over forty years. Well…apart from that recurring one of me running around college trying to get everything packed so I can go home. Maybe that is a reflection on what a boring old git I am but it is what it is. So when I say that Another Day To Live Through has a definite dream-like quality it is, most definitely, a film that makes you feel like you are observing someone’s dream. It is just normal enough while being engagingly odd.
Another Day To Live Through is, essentially, a two hander. Lene Kqiku plays Satu, who seems to be a hitchhiking student. This is her feature length debut having a few shorts and some theatre work on the London stage. Alongside her is Timo Torikka (Lauri), a bitter, disillusioned former soldier living in a cabin in the woods. There is a third character Niska (Vincent Willestrand) but he has little more than a cameo towards the end which does prove pivotal. Sadly that has to render me silent on the subject as, well, spoilers.
We start off with a Finnish proverb “Evil men don’t die easily, God doesn’t want them, the Devil can wait…”. Then we see Satu walking naked and covered in blood into a lake to wash off. Roll the opening credits and then we see Satu waking up in a cabin on Day 10. From then on it gets increasingly hard to describe. Satu walks around the cabin looking at mirrors, looking in cupboards, just mooching around the place. Then we cut to a scene in a field and it is Day 1. Satu is sitting on a rock writing. Cut to Satu sitting on another rock and being upset by what she has written. Upset enough to throw it all away.
This is where you get the first inklings of what you are in for…is it time that isn’t flowing properly or is something else going on? Satu picks up all the stuff she threw away and walks out into a field where she bumps into Lauri. They chat for a bit and go their separate ways. Then we go to Day 2 and Satu is waking up in the same cabin but things are different. It seems that Lauri is there as well. Is it his cabin? He seems well at home helping Satu into bed and making her breakfast. He claims that she has hit her head in a storm and he found her passed out in the middle of the woods and all her stuff is missing.
I’ll be honest and say that Another Day To Live Through is very difficult to recap but it is one of those engrossing films that keep you hooked. As the scenes change you keep thinking back and trying to remember was that the same last time? And as the film progresses, you keep seeing things from a slightly different point of view and keep being nudged towards the narrative conclusion. Or is it a conclusion? I’m not sure whether Another Day To Live Through can be included in our Groundhog Day round up or not but I am leaning towards including it. Incidentally, the film that is playing in the cabin is The Last Man On Earth, the first line of which is said by Vincent Price and is… Another Day To Live Through!
Another Day To Live Through is available on UK digital 11th September 2023 from Reel 2 Reel Films.
Movie Grade: B+
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Former teacher, lecturer, homelessness administrator, pharmacy dispenser now happily retired, happily married, and a very happy granddad. I live next to the Mersey but on the side Daniel Craig and Taron Egerton come from rather than the side the Beatles came from!