TIFF 2017 Review: “Miami” (2017) ★★★★★

Did it ever happen to you that by the time you reach the end of the film, you feel hopeless, exhausted, emotionally tired and heartbroken? It’s almost like the things you just witnessed happened to someone you cared about? MIAMI is a film you take personally. It evolves around two sisters whose lives have always been tragic, but in a very poetic way. This movie slowly builds up the hope not only for its protagonists, but for you as a spectator as well. All these will happen for one main reason – to leave you empty, confused but being touched deeply by this aesthetically pleasing movie.

Angela is a gorgeous woman in her 30s. She is like a star that will never lose its shine. By looking at her, the only thing you can see is a magnet that attracts happiness and blessings. Her younger sister Anna is more like a protector, someone who is there to extend Angela’s life a bit longer. Someone who needed to have a sister for some hidden purposes. Their path will cross many years later. They both will learn something new from each other. One will become bolder, another one will try to find peace. But before it happens, two women need to find a way to escape trouble created by Angela that can threaten the little haven they have discovered.

“When I have a rough time at school or somewhere else, I imagined you’d show up and take me away”, says Anna, after a long-awaited reunion with Angela. But when the movie begins, a quick look of Anna with short hair and heavily breathing is being replaced by the opening credits. Right after that, the viewer is taken to the bar where a woman named Angela dances on the stage but is being observed by someone who she did not know yet – Anna. After performing her gig, Angela goes outside to be hunted down by a man, we soon will learn, demands money she owed. Anna, like a superwoman, comes to Angela’s rescue and offers her to stay at her place till the morning.

Angela thinks Anna is like an angel who was at the right place and at the right time, but early morning when Anna asks Angela to go to the room with full of family pictures on the table, she realizes that Anna is her younger sister and they were separated by their parents. That reunion marks the beginning to an emotional ride of two sisters who will do anything possible to be together. When Anna learns that Angela owes forty thousand euros to bad people, she agrees joining her tour and participate in her gigs in order to collect money. During their journey, they both reconnect in a very special way. Their love and self-awareness will amaze you, and even them. But is it because it’s too good to be true or just a coincidence? But that won’t matter as long as Angela and Anna have each other, there is nothing that can keep them apart, not even danger that awaits for them ahead of their stirring voyage, full of dangerous plans that usually never ends well.

MIAMA, co-written and directed by Zaida Bergroth is a film that will shake you to the core. It’s sweet and charming story of two sisters who grew apart from each other, but managed to develop a special bond years after. It’s about willingness to fight for the one you love. It shows every risk is worth taking. It well narrates that life has an expiry date. Everything always and must come to an end. But one move, one step makes it special. Because the family tie, whether here or there must be connected… and that’s a tie no one can ever break. And as a person who has that connection with my twin sister, I could distantly or not, but relate and understand why Anna or Angela do what you will find them doing.

Bergroth’s MIAMI works on so many levels. But one of them is outstanding, and I repeat, astonishing performances delivered by Krista Kosonen as Angela and Sonja Kuittinen as Anna. Both actors share such an incredible chemistry that will make you believe they are sisters in real life. Kuittinen managed to breath life into Anna and make her real. Kosonen was spectacular as Angela, almost like this role was written for her. The last scene they share together was so touching and emotional, you, the same way as me, want to be able to hold the tears back. For that, they did not have to lose a life, but have genuine and heartwarming moments they will cherish from that moment on.


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