Director: Petri Luukkainen
Starring: Petri Luukkainen
Running Time: 80 mins
Synopsis: After breaking up with his girlfriend, Petri embarks on an experiment. Noticing that he is unhappy despite his wealth of possessions, he decides to place everything he owns in storage for a year, allowing himself to remove only one item per day, in order to determine the true value of his material possessions.
MY STUFF is certainly a captivating journey, and the structure of the experiment involved makes for a solid narrative, which keeps you intrigued throughout; exactly what item will he choose today? Why? How happy will it make him and how will he use it? However, the destination is somewhat underwhelming, as it “brings to light” a message the vast majority of people are acutely aware of already.
On a more positive note, the slick, non-linear structure of the story expertly chops back and forth, beginning three years before the experiment, running to shortly after its completion. It is testament to the creative and directorial potential Luukkainen possesses. However, it is also infused with a slight self indulgent quality that taints it slightly. Luukkainen displays an almost martyr-like demeanour on occasion, especially when discussing his experiment, which can be easily interpreted as patronising.
His far more endearing side shines through too though, as he struggles through his test, beginning on day one with only a long winter coat. Throughout the experiment he turns to his grandmother and young cousin for various bits of advice; one of the highlights being his elderly grandmother reassuring him that he doesn’t “shoot blanks”… thanks… Nan? Ahem… His conversations with her are intriguingly frank, sweet, enlightening and hilarious at times. She takes up the position of not coveting material possessions, while his young cousin provides the polar opposite standpoint, seeing no sense in Petri’s experiment whatsoever. His friends and family sporadically offer their own take on his progress, whilst a love story blossoms too, adding just a splash of classic storytelling to the otherwise very focused experiment.
Luukkainen is a good example of the kind of untapped talent from all around the world just waiting to burst onto the big screen. Although MY STUFF’s slightly predictable outcome will probably not cause many people to have a life changing epiphany, the message behind this story is an important and timeless one. Furthermore, it is told in a pleasantly immersive style.
[usr=4] MY STUFF (aka TAVARATAIVAS) is due for release in the UK and Ireland Friday 28th March.