Sisu Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Jorma Tommila, Aksel Hennie, Jack Doolan, and ensemble.

Director: Jalmari Helander.

Sisu Movie Review ( Photo Credit – Movie Poster )

What’s Good: Imagine Fury Road but even more gory. A story so niche and an idea so brutal that you don’t bother about what’s happening outside that frame because what is already there is more than enough.

What’s Bad: Specifically, a sequence in the air where a man is hanging to the bottom of a giant airplane at a very high altitude. It demands too much suspension of disbelief.

Loo Break: The movie is definitely good to make you stay, but the visuals are brutal enough to make you run to the loo for a break.

Watch or Not?: If a horse, then a man or two shattering into pieces after stepping on a landmine and their remains flying right in front of you is a visual you can stand, you have no reason not to watch this 90-minute decorated brutal fun. God, one sounds so evil talking about Sisu, save us.

Language: English (with subtitles).

Available On: In Theatres Near You.

Runtime: 93 Minutes

User Rating:

Aatami Korpi, a barbarian Finnish Soldier, decides to leave the war behind and live for himself. He mines gold to do so and starts walking toward the city. But the Nazi troops left behind pick a bone with him, and the brutality unfolds with insanity.

Sisu Movie Review ( Photo Credit – Movie Still )

Sisu Movie Review: Script Analysis

To understand Jalmari Helander and his cinema, one has to be introduced to him well in advance. Before you enter the Sisu universe or even read this review any further, you must know that the filmmaker in question here knows no subtlety, is politically charged, and has extreme opinions about the Nazi regime. This might even be his ‘may I put his face on my punch bag and keep punching it till my knuckles bleed’ movie, and the faces would of the Nazis. When he labels a chapter in the movie as Kill Them All, you now certainly know who he means by ‘all.’

So when a filmmaker finds his resort in absurdity, never uses subtle devices, and is okay with showing savage brutality on the screen, you should watch his content with a flare that has no preconceived notions or fear. Jalmari with Sisu wants to tell a story about determination; it is almost like the stories we weave in our minds as a child of being a lone survivor and eradicating every bit of roadblock single-handedly. In the world of adults, it is called Sisu, a Finnish word that means someone who is not immortal but refuses to die. He is a man with determination as strong as vibranium and one who makes himself the motivation when there is nothing around.

It is about a man, Aatami Korpi, who is the most barbaric soldier anyone ever saw. Messing with him is calling upon death, and there are no two ways. A man like him has now left World War 2 behind to be now isolated and find gold so he can finally have a life. He has the scars of his brutal existence on him, literally and figuratively. Sisu takes all the efforts in developing its main man as a human first and an assassin later. He dreams of a normal life, he ignores low-flying war planes like birds, and is busy finding his gold in Finnish’s Lapland wilderness while the world around him burns. When he has the gold, he sets out to move to the main city to encash it and get his money.

This is where the ‘war’ enters the story. Helander doesn’t set his story between the war but by the end of it in the mid 40s and the Nazis had almost last. Some who remained were busy filling their pockets to have a life beyond the war for the losing side. So when they decide to snatch Korpi’s gold and that is where it all goes wrong. Jalmari writes Sisu as an episode with chapters, and it is just this episode you have to invest in. But that doesn’t mean you don’t know what happened or is happening beyond. The world-building is powerful enough to create a three-dimensional picture. Add to it the fact that he places his story in land, water, and air to give it a shape and only intensify his barbarian instincts.

Sisu deserves to be seen for its sheer storytelling technique where it doesn’t make one the hero and the other the villain and make them stereotypical. Yes, it wants you to understand the politics and power dynamics, but also have fun while doing so. Even a hint of what war would look like if women picked up weapons, is bada** and shows a range of ideas. Also, this could be called a John Wick reincarnated prequel and we won’t even question. And for a fact Korpi’s dog is precisely one that Wick deserved all this time.

The only time Sisu feels like it demands a whole lot of suspension of disbelief is when it decides to make Korpi hang to the bottom of a plane on a very high altitude. You know this is not humanely possible, while the rest was, though supremely painful but was.

Sisu Movie Review: Star Performance

Jorma Tommila is a force of nature, and nobody can decode how he managed to make Korpi this three-dimensional with even a single concrete dialogue in a 93-minute movie. He understands that Jalmari’s written character on paper is a high pitch absurd human who could easily pass as a barbarian god, so in his performance, he makes him a human first and an assassin later. He doesn’t let the pride in Korpi leak through him even once till the very last sequence, and you will know how well that strategy lands when you see it.

Aksel Hennie is just deliciously bad. He is determined to kill the only handful of remaining Nazi soldiers so he could have enough gold to lead his life. As an opponent, he is not one of those overconfident villains who never really see the strength of the hero. Instead, he is more afraid of the ghost he has picked up a bone with.

Aksel Hennie is just deliciously bad. He is determined to kill the only handful of remaining Nazi soldiers so he could have enough gold to lead his life. As an opponent, he is not one of those overconfident villains who never really see the strength of the hero. Instead, he is more afraid of the ghost he has picked up a bone with. Jack Doolan supports him well in doing so and is good as the evil co-Nazi.

Sisu Movie Review ( Photo Credit – Movie Still )

Sisu Movie Review: Direction, Music

Jalmari Helander as a filmmaker, has no mood to hide even a bit of the brutality his story holds. Flying pieces of human flesh, a man repairing himself the old way by burning his wounds, using a bullet wound to hang himself by inserting a rod into it; everything is visual and on the screen. What he is also clear about is his intent to tell a story that originates from his own mind without being proud or even a bit apologetic about it. There is so much in just 90 minutes that he gives you no scope to even think of a parallel narrative. Every 5 minutes, a twist or a brutal scene unfolds, and you are left questioning your threshold.

Add to it DOP Kjell Lagerroos, who creates gory but beautiful frames. You want the bloodshed to stop but don’t want to stop looking at it all. It is not an easy job to shoot a movie that changes its playground more than once and keep the tone constant while sticking to the concept. He does it. The sound department is in full support of the visual treat that Sisu is and make it worth every blast and screech of a dying soul.

Sisu Movie Review: The Last Word

Sisu isn’t a movie for the faint heart folks, neither is it for ones who hunt for subtlety or give a side eye to brutality. It is a movie so wild in its idea and unabashed in its execution that it aims to introduce you to a new taste rather than fitting in your pallet.

Sisu Trailer

Sisu releases on 28th April, 2023.

Share with us your experience of watching Sisu.


For more recommendations, read our John Wick: Chapter 4 Movie Review here.

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