Saturday 27 April 2013

Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses [1994]

Made 5 years after the incredibly popular Leningrad Cowboys Go America, the sequel, though not necessarily bad, failed to match the refreshing and riotous fun of the former. Members of the titular rock-and-roll band from Siberia have now settled down in Mexico after having made the Top 10 charts. The band size, too, has shrunk on account of alcoholism. However, when they suddenly get an offer for a gig in the US, the surviving members, some of whom have even embraced Mexican lifestyles, decide to give a visit to Uncle Sam. But, once there, they meet their former manager Vladimir (Matti Pellonpää) who had disappeared, and has now been ‘born again’ as Moses. Under the command of Moses, who has become even more tyrannical and self-serving, the band embarks on an eventful and comical journey back to their homeland. While they seamlessly break a plethora of national and international laws and regulations during their rambunctious road trip, they are also being hunted by a CIA agent (André Wilms) as they have stolen the nose of the Statue of Liberty. Unlike the earlier film, which was an exercise in sheer deadpan comedy, here liberties, in the form of slapstick, were taken at places. The tale of these oddball characters and their anarchistic antics was also infused with surrealism, strong politico-religious underpinnings and outlandish plot developments, while the number of musical performances were significantly cut down, thus making this a far bleaker and a more grimy film in comparison. The band, which had become very popular in Finland by then, would make another return to celluloid in the concert film Total Balalaika Show.

Director: Aki Kaurismaki
Genre: Comedy/Social Satire/Religious Satire/Musical/Road Movie
Language: English/Finnish
Country: Finland

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