“SCREWED”— Finding Each Other and Themselves

“Screwed” (“Pihalla”) 

Finding Each Other and Themselves

Amos Lassen

“Screwed” is a Finnish drama film in which seventeen year olds Miku and Elias find themselves, and each other, during a summer in the Finnish countryside. The stage is set for a sensual, beautifully photographed film of a young gay man as he moves into adulthood with a simple statement, “It’s going to be a dry summer.”

Director Nils-Erik Ekblom gives us lyrical and poetic coming-of-age story. Because of an ill-advised rave thrown at home while the adults were away, 17-year-old sexually insecure Miku (Mikko Kauppila) must spend the summer with his bickering parents at their private cottage. There, against the serene and beautiful backdrop of the Finnish countryside, he meets confident Elias (Valtieri Lehtinen), with whom he strikes up an intense friendship, one that leads to physical sexual consummation and mutual self-discovery.

Even with familial dysfunction and troubled parental relationship turmoil, sexuality is refreshingly matter-of-fact. Director Ekblom has said that he wanted to show an uncensored version of the daily life of a young gay Finn on the brink of adulthood. There is nothing special about his being gay and it is regarded as just another point in the film. This is a realistic depiction of a young gay man’s sexual awakening, and the tender and erotic interactions of the two main characters. It is based on the personal experience of its young writer-filmmaker. The mood and pacing of the film are gorgeous as is the film overall.

Seventeen-year-old Miku is just a regular guy whose brother thinks that he has no personality, Because of a party that got out of hand Miku is forced to spend the rest of the summer with his parents who are dealing with their relationship problems. When Miku meets Elias, the two boys realize that the only things they have in common are their ages and the fact that they both live in dysfunctional families. But something is pulling them together. Nevertheless, something pulls them together. Elias forces Miku to deal with his repressed sexuality and this happens as Miku’s parents’ marriage is falling apart. Elias has his own baggage to deal with and finds it easier to just discard Miku from his life instead of starting another broken romance but Miku decides to take charge of his own life and will not let himself be thrown to the side so easily.

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