Questions, suggestions, comments or critique connected with the Valkaama movie 
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Posted by: kid
Date: August 16, 2007 08:01PM

First of all : I loved the story !
Honestly ?
I read maybe a hundred scripts ( usually the Hollywood ones ) in my life
( which is very few, of course )
and never have I read a screenplay so quickly !
No, I didin't skip pages ! It gripped me from start to finish!
I am not an advocate of sad endings so when I read the outline
I thought it would be somethig very depressive but the script itself
proved to be extremely enthralling.
However, I think it has some weak points, especially the ending.
No, I do not say it should be a happy one. It would not make sense then.
The concept is great in itself but things get a bit complicated toward the end
( last three scenes or so )
and the climax does not ring true. Of course I did not read the book and do not know the characters as well as you do. It is your story.

Re: climax
Posted by:
Date: August 17, 2007 09:05AM

Hey Kid,

I always had the feeling that the end is a bit too short. Is that what you mean? I mean I personally think that things work out fine. It is maybe just a bit too much happening in scene 55 ( Link: [] ) so the climax (second part of scene 55) might be a bit
too quick for the audience to figure out how everything ties together.

On the other hand everything is clear and said. The story does not force you like other movies which have complicated breaks, twists and left-out-explanations to make up your own interpretation. To see what I mean look at Hollywood movies like Butterfly Effect, The Jacket, Vanilla Sky... (you can correct me here because it has been a long while since I last saw those films...)

So in contradiction to those movies in Valkaama the whole plot is explained and everything gets clear at the end. And that it happens so fast will force the audience to reconsider the story and the characters when the film is actually over (credits).

Anyways. If you have an idea how to make the climax more effectful or more-working-out, I would be very happy to hear your ideas. We did not start yet and if there is a possibility to improve the film... I am open for any ideas!!!

Re: climax
Posted by: kid
Date: August 17, 2007 01:49PM

Hi again,

Yes, you're right ! Da liegt der Hund begraben =)
The climax is too short, too compressed !
Your insight serves you well ( Obi Wan Kenobi, Return of the Jedi winking smiley
Isn't it fascinating that somehow we FEEL what the stories should be like
but we're not always able to put it down on page ?

From the films you listed I only watched Vanilla Sky, and didn't like the lack of clarity
you mentioned ( so once I saw the sript and I was totally uninterested ).

Ok, I'll try to study your script a bit more ( which should be quite soon) and
let you know when I understand it better and come to some useful (hopefully =) conclusions.

All the best with your project.


Re: climax
Posted by: Ketven
Date: August 17, 2007 03:56PM

Yes, I also got this feeling. It's like we have just a couple of seconds to realize that father is a psycho before he gets killed, and there's no time to think about consequences for Lasse (the story focuses just on the fight between father and Magnus). I wonder - maybe Lasse should say something like, maybe "So it was only a sick man's dream..."? I don't know, just an idea.

Re: climax
Posted by:
Date: August 19, 2007 02:26PM

Ketven Wrote:
> I wonder - maybe Lasse should say
> something like, maybe "So it was only a sick man's
> dream..."? I don't know, just an idea.

Hmm. That would be one possibility of improving the scene. Though I think Lasse would not use the word 'sick man'. So if you cross that out...

Lasse: (absent) So it was only a dream...

On the other hand, looking at the scene I don't know where it would fit. Suggestions?

Re: climax
Posted by: Ketven
Date: August 19, 2007 10:03PM

I guess it should be somewhere during father's monologue, somewhere at the end, before the fight - that would be natural because that's the moment when Lasse discovers that his father is delusional.

On the other hand, "after the fight" would be more concluding...

Re: climax
Posted by: Hendrik
Date: August 20, 2007 10:26AM

It's true that the end in Tim's version is maybe way to overwhelming for the one who watches the film since too much happens in such a short time. Actually, in the original version it isn't a very long ending either, but since it is a book I was less working with pictures and silence -like the image of the broken Lasse- but with inner monologues and dialogues. In the book, Magnus plays a much more important role at the end. Through the journey, he has become aware of his wasted former life and has finally become a better person. Thus, he's the one to comfort Lasse, somewhat encouraging him to hold on. Magnus tells Lasse that the journey hasn't been in vain at all because Lasse has actually saved Magnus' soul and there's a loving girl waiting for him "in the real life". As you can see, the ending is originally way less gloomy but keeps a glimmer of hope inside it.
I don't really know anymore why Tim crossed that out and shortened the ending as it is right now, but maybe remembering the original ending could help you guys solving the problem.

Re: climax
Posted by: Ketven
Date: August 20, 2007 01:39PM

You know, this makes much more sense (ok, I just don't like gloomy endings grinning smiley), since there is a bit of time after the climax. The script looks a bit like (I'll be referring to The Return of Jedi ;-) ) Luke fighting with Vader, then without any dialogue Vader throws Emperor into the pit, we can see that he's (Vader) dying in his son's arms and then blackout. Of course, the meaning is the same, but it somehow lacks the "after-climax" phase. I'm not quite sure if I'm making myself clear grinning smiley

Re: climax
Posted by:
Date: August 20, 2007 02:11PM

The script looks a bit like (I'll be referring to The Return of Jedi ;-) ) Luke fighting with Vader, then without any dialogue Vader throws Emperor into the pit, we can see that he's (Vader) dying in his son's arms and then blackout.

Ok. I got your point. The way you describe the Star Wars scene somehow reminds me on the angry alien parody clips smiling smiley
(Look at this: [] )

So... how to improve it? Suggestions, anyone?

Re: climax
Posted by: kid
Date: September 01, 2007 11:37AM

I don't know how it's supposed to look on screen so my doubts concern only the written form of the script.

Ok, Magnus and Lasse have the same father and learn about it in the scene 55
but still there are some things I don't quite understand.
"TEEMU (to Lasse): My son.
MAGNUS (surprised): Father!"

Ok he is suprised, it's obvious but:

"LASSE (totally absent): Father?"

What do you mean that he is TOTALLY ABSENT ? Do you mean that the new situation hasn't penetrated yet ?
Maybe be more desriptive, add an action line, that is.
"Magnus who follows the confusing spectacle finally realizes what is really going on."

And indeed the spectacle is so confusing that I'm not sure what Magnus realizes,
why does he say : "Valkaama? ... Valkaama!" ?
Don't you think that a head hitting a stone is an overly used movie trick ?
I think it spoils the whole story ( which is great, btw winking smiley
Maybe let Teemu start drowning in the lake and the boys try to rescue him but failing.
The father may be able to swim but he's hurt or if it's Scandinavia he just freezes to death ?
That would add some twist and an extra layer to the overall feel of the whole.
Of course it's just one possibility.
And the last thing:
Why do brothers who've recently found each other just part company like that ?

Ok it's your story. These are only suggestions, I hope it was of some help.

Good luck.

climax and end of the film
Posted by:
Date: September 04, 2007 10:06AM

1) Lasse was just confronted with the idea that Ari killed himself because he (Lasse) did not care enough about him. So he is obviously confused and his ideal world collapses a second time (first when he got to know about Ari's death). So TOTALLY ABSENT means that he is physically there but not able to make any action at all or say anything at all. Because he is mentally paralyzed.

2) Magnus recognizes his father because he knows him from the photographs his mother always uses to look at when she is drunk. He knows from all what his mother said about Teemu that he is a liar (talks shit, is a mind twister... scene 10).

So he draws the connections and realizes that the confused man, his father who now talks something about protecting Valkaama is behind the idea of this ideal place.

Teemu: [...] I will protect Valkaama!
Magnus: Valkaama? (now he realizes what is going on) Valkaama! (Everything is obvious to him)

3) You got a point here. That was just the only thing which came to my mind. I wanted his death to be very unspectacular. Not the Hollywood-kind-of-thing with a lot of tragedy behind when 'the hero dies'. I mean the character of Teemu is introduced just shortly before. He is like a ghost or shadow covering the whole story. And like a ghost he appears out of nothing and goes into nothing. That's the idea behind. I think focusing too much on him would distract from the three main characters...

But... do you have any better-than-stone-idea... Maybe something with a knife... or something completely new?

In the book Teemu hangs himself after the fight with Magnus because Teemu's perfect world has been contaminated and thus destroyed by the presence of Magnus. As far as I remember Teemu does not meet Lasse at all.

4) Because they are unable to think rationally. Lasse's whole perfect world doesn't exist anymore. He is mentally broken and unable to think and feel anything in this moment (paralysed).

Magnus is in deep depression because the only hope he saw for himself and his life (living in Valkaama) has been destroyed from one moment to another. He is also not able to make rational decisions. Apart from that he used to assist suicides and did not have any social life at all. Do you think he cares about the fact that he has found his brother now? What shall he do? Where shall he go? With his brother Lasse? He obviously has someone (Runa) so there is probably no place for him. So he can go back to his mother and living his miserable life... Or he can start a new life. But that is too much for him. He knows that he will never manage to.

Runa is the only person who remains rational. She sees the chance to catch Lasse and take him to her nest. The question is: why doesn't she care about Magnus. But on the other hand... She doesn't know him at all. And she has to go back because Ibsy is waiting for her in Göteborg. And she cannot foresee that Magnus is going to kill himself. She is setting priorities. She, Lasse, Ibsy. Magnus will be okay. The big boy will be able to care about himself...

So I think that Runa should look back for a short time while carrying Lasse away home. She might leave Magnus with a hint of sadness in her face...

Re: climax and end of the film
Posted by: Ketven
Date: September 05, 2007 10:03PM

Well, as for me Teemu should shot himself with a shotgun when he realizes that Magnus "contaminated" his vision. This would add additional "twist" - as Magnus "in his normal life" assists suicides.

Nevertheless, I'm trying to think about some "cooldown" after the climax. As for now, I'm trying to brake away (in my mind) from a standart happy ending ;-)

Re: climax and end of the film
Posted by: Hendrik
Date: September 11, 2007 03:40PM

Tim, it's not correct that Teemu hangs himself in the book. He dies during a fight with Magnus. However, indeed, Teemu and Lasse don't meet in the book since Teemu is already dead at this point.
As I said before, in the book Magnus is much less demonic as you put him in the film: In the end he becomes kind of a hero by making Lasse understand that there's so much lying ahead, waiting for him and Runa. I'm actually somehwat missing this enlightenment of Magnus. It's okay that you put the end more depressive and hopeless in your vision, but still, it lacks at least a bit light beneath the surface. Magnus is actually fine with the idea of dying there voluntarily, up in the north, after all these remarkable impressions. His death isn't meant as a gloomy one. If you want Lasse to be broken in the movie, that's ok for me, but maybe you could at least include a secret hint at Magnus' mood: A circle closes as he commits suicide. He's not too sorry about that.

Re: climax and end of the film
Posted by: Ketven
Date: September 28, 2007 03:12PM

It's been a long time since last post but I've been thinking quite a lot about it (the climax).

First of all, even if I'd take part in the project (and unfortunately time issues didn't allow me to up to this moment), I just can't bring myself to write how the climax should look like - simply because that's not my film, but Tim's.

So my proposition is of other kind: I think that the whole team should be able to shoot this final, climax scene (series of scenes?) at least two times, for two different endings. One ending would be the one currently found in the script; the other one - well... I spoke about it in previous posts, and I'm not a writer (never was, and probably never will be).

Is that plausible?

Re: climax and end of the film
Posted by: Ketven
Date: October 01, 2007 10:53PM

After some thinking, I've discovered at last what is wrong with the climax (of course that just my opinion). when it is read in the script, it's just too short compared to the whole story :-) But I'm sure it'll carry out well.

But I think last scenes lack interaction between main characters: Lasse and Magnus. OK, I see the point in making Lasse "broken", but I'm not that sure that this part will play well. It somehow feels unnatural:
- what happened with Teemu's dead body?
- is Lasse behaving natural? I mean ok, he lost father and dreams, but he just gained a brother - dark and somehow evil, but still - a brother. What else can happen to bring him out of his coma? (or maybe you're already planning a sequel - "Valkaama 2: Where is my brother?" starting when Lasse realizes that he lost someone ;-) ).

I don't know why exactly, but one scene floats in my mind: a scene in which Lasse (accompanied by Runa and Magnus?) makes a grave of stones for Teemu, burying his dreams of Valkaama at the same time.

So I propose something like this:

During the talk between Magnus and Runa, Lasse gets up, acting like still in a coma, and starts to cover Teemu's body with rocks. Magnus and Runa are watching it for a while, and then Magnus starts helping Lasse with his work. They work hand to hand until Teemu is buried. Only after that they look at each other, no words between them. After a while, Runa approaches Lasse and says "Come on. Let's go.".

Up to this moment it's just a slight retouch, adding a bit of depth to last scene. From this point, the film can end at Magnus staring at the lake - but I'd prefer adding just one thing:

Runa approaches Lasse
Runa: Come in. Let's go.
Lasse keeps looking semi-consciously at Magnus.
Magnus: Go with her. We met once, we'll meet again.
Lasse nods his head, turns around and walks with Runa, seemingly tired and careless, stumbles a couple of times.
Magnus is left sitting on Teemu's grave, staring at the lake.
Magnus: Valkaama...
A tear runs down his face.
Magnus: Valkaama...
Slowly he takes out his flacon with the poison and stares as it, as camera fades out.

What do you think?

BTW: Don't you think that the use of word "valkaama" should be explained somewhere in movie?

Re: climax and end of the film
Posted by:
Date: October 11, 2007 11:31PM

Hey Ketven,

I appreciate your ideas. But... making a scene with building a grave is quite impossible in my opinion. Not because it wouldn't add to the movie's end but just because it will take too much time (and stones winking smiley ). I mean don't get me wrong. The idea is good. But the realization too difficult.

Re: climax and end of the film
Posted by: Ketven
Date: October 25, 2007 11:36AM

Oh come on, do you really think that in Blackhawk Down they destroyed two 6+ million dollar helicopters just to make it look realistic? Esp when it's enough to get some metal trash and burn it?

Really, I think you need 3-4 stones, and a suggesting filming :-)

But, of course, it's your film grinning smiley

Re: climax and end of the film
Posted by: thomas
Date: May 31, 2010 03:10AM

>So my proposition is of other kind: I think that the whole team should be able to shoot this >final, climax scene (series of scenes?) at least two times, for two different endings. One ending >would be the one currently found in the script; the other one - well...

i just watched the whole movie and was quite confused at the end, even if i really loved the whole thing and ideas spread through.

at the end, i was personnaly confused not to have some explanations about what is really Valkaama ("just a dream" like ketven said)

i wasn't ever sure if my understand of "magnus and lasse being brothers" was correct.

I haven't read the book, but learnt how the book ends reading this topic, and i would really like the idea of "second endind" ketven suggested.

i'm a french guy, and i thank you for this wonderfull movie, which can only gets better.

Re: climax and end of the film
Posted by: Tim
Date: June 17, 2010 01:00AM

Hi thomas,

Your understanding of Lasse and Magnus being brothers is correct. Actually the father, Teemu, left their mother years ago taking Lasse "the good son" with him. His aim was to build up his perfect community Valkaama while he just left Lasse in an orphanage and later told him to see the world before settling down in Valkaama. So either Teemu always was crazy or he became crazy in the Finnish wilderness. We don't know. We just know that Valkaama the perfect place on this world doesn't exist / only exists in his mind. There is simply nothing up there. And this insight crushes both: Lasse as well as Magnus. Only Runa remains strong in the end seing her chance to grab Lasse for her. Hope that explanation helps smiling smiley


Re: climax and end of the film
Posted by: Mark Dixon
Date: December 20, 2010 01:00AM

Understanding that Lasse and Magnus were brothers explains a lot.

At the climax when Temmu confronted Magnus and said "you poisoned the community", I wasn't sure if it was true or just Temmu raving. Magnus poisoned Ari, and apparently others, as hinted at when he burns the diary. Did Magnus go to Valkaama in the past and poison the community? Or was that just part of Temmu's madness? (I haven't read the novel, I assume it's explained in more detail there.)

Re: climax and end of the film
Posted by: Tim
Date: December 22, 2010 01:57PM

No, Magnus did not go to Valkaama in the past. The father only considered Lasse as his true son. Magnus was always unwanted. And when Teemu sees him in his made-up Valkaama where a community only exists in his mad brain he sees his 'sancturary' violated or as he says... poisoned.

Re: climax and end of the film
Posted by: lama1980
Date: July 21, 2016 11:55AM

One of the most interesting endings of the film.

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