In Review

Bank Robbery (Pangaroov)

Directed by Andrus Tuisk
Estonia, 2009, 90 min.
Review by Clinton Stark
Bank Robbery Pangaroov at Cinequest
I knew the bride when she used to rock 'n' roll

Can a man really change? Or is he destined to be who is he, despite the best of intentions? In Bank Robbery, Madis dreams of his sweetheart, and what a quiet, honest life might be like living on a farm with sheep.

His young nephew Hannes decides to join him and hops in the recently acquired BMW and off they head on a rural highway adventure to Southern Estonia.

All manner of unpredictable circumstances ensue.

Trouble seems to follow the tattoo-decorated Madis. Yet, he’s determined to teach the boy how to become a man even if it means a dose of tough love. And absolutely assures all he will not be headed back to the slammer.

This is the first movie from Estonia I think I’ve ever seen. And it’s a good one.

Hannes Kaljujärv plays Madis with barbaric intensity, yet you can tell he yearns for love. Life is harsh, and the filmmakers capture brutality without resorting to gratuitous violence. Smoking and hard drinking play prevalent supporting roles.

The ending doesn’t feel quite right, however. Perhaps trying too hard to resolve too many elements it wraps quickly, and doesn’t feel true to the events and character developments that preceded it.

Still, Bank Robbery is a gritty film with some truly moving moments. Shot well, with strong acting, it’s too bad though the last quarter of the script couldn’t live up to expectations.

Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear