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The Cuckoo (2003)

Anni-Kristiina Juuso , Ville Haapasalo , Aleksandr Rogozhkin  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anni-Kristiina Juuso, Ville Haapasalo, Viktor Bychkov, Mikhail Korobochkin, Aleksei Kashnikov
  • Directors: Aleksandr Rogozhkin
  • Writers: Aleksandr Rogozhkin
  • Producers: Sergey Selyanov
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Russian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: December 2, 2003
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DGKI7
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,779 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Cuckoo" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

As the Nazis prepare to pull out of Finland, a young Finnish conscript is left chained to a rock in Lapland, instructed to kill as many Russian soldiers as he can before he dies. Freeing himself, he makes his way to a farm where a widowed Lapp woman is nursing an injured Russian officer back to health. Despite the lack of a common language between any of them, the two men form an uneasy trust for each other and a strong shared attraction for their unlikely caregiver. Ville Haapasalo, Anni-Christina Juuso, Viktor Bychkov star. 103 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: Russian, Finnish and Lapp Dolby Digital 5.1; Subtitles: English. NOTE: This Title Is Out Of Print; Limit One Per Customer.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
90 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary, funny, inspirational, beautiful January 4, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What an extraordinary movie! I was confused at the beginning, as were the 3 people with whom I was watching this ultimately marvelous film. We couldn't figure out why the guy was being chained to the rock, who was on which side of the war, what languages they were speaking. But with a little patience and perseverance, it all becomes crystal clear and the movie soars to the stratosphere. Ten stars.
The whole movie is set in Lappland, home of the ethnic Sami people. There's a pacifist-Finnish-conscript-sniper-prisoner of the Russians (got all that?) who is chained to the rock and left to die (dressed in an SS uniform) because he just doesn't want to fight any more. Didn't want to fight in the first place. Most of the beginning of the movie is taken up with his persistent and ingenious attempts to free himself from the chains - and I think it was all of those schemes that kept my 18yo son fascinated. By the time the bolt came loose from the stone, my kid was hooked on `the real story,' and, in spite of hating subtitles, he stuck around to the end and loved it.
Okay, stay with me here. Then there's a Russian prisoner of his own countrymen being taken to trial for the anti-Communist views found in his diaries. The jeep with the Russian is bombed; only the prisoner survives, but he's badly concussed.
And there's an utterly charming and luminous young Sami woman living alone (her husband was taken off 4 yrs earlier as a conscript) on a spit of land in a beautiful but pretty barren wilderness who ends up with both men in her hut. None of them speak a common language. The subtitles are hilarious as they babble on incessantly to each other with only occasional glimmers of real communication and understanding.
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65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN UNEXPECTED SURPRISE August 22, 2004
The main theme of this film is well known and very well worked out. Two enemies meet in a neutral surrounding. They want to kill each other, but by one reason or another, they don't. Sounds familiar? Well here we have an extra twist - a woman. None of these three people understand each other; they speak different languages and they have different backgrounds. There is no understanding but yet there is some. They feel each other.

The film is smartly complemented by the excellent director's work, superb acting, top cinematography, and the beautiful scenery of (Laplandia - Korelia) the northern Russia - southern Finland. This was the territory the Soviets aggressively took away from the Finns in 1939 in the Soviet - Finish war (the forgotten war). That is when the Finish snipers and the brutal winter destroyed the Soviet Army but still a little country as Finland could not defend itself against the Soviet might.

I give this film five stars and a very warm recommendation to everyone to watch it.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Impressive ... August 18, 2005
A very simple happenstance movie about a frustrated Russian soldier, a reluctant Finn soldier and a pastoral Sami woman. There are just the three characters in the movie and all of them speak different languages (Russian, Finnish and Sami). The Finn soldier (Veikko played by Ville Haapasalo) is a sniper (Cuckoo in military jargon) who is chained to his position in a remote outpost. His die-hard and innovative attempts to get rid of the shackles whilst complaining about the war, are simply hilarious (the actor's silent facial expressions are most impressive). The Russian soldier/prisoner (Ivan) is stranded in a foreign land and is ever suspicious. The pastoral Sami woman (Anni played by Anni-Kristiina Juuso)steals the show with her top-notch acting. Her bucolic lifestyle and simple outlook towards life is thought provoking. None of the characters in the movie can speak or understand each other's language and their interactions (mostly miscommunications) are simply hilarious.

In one of the scenes, Ivan cooks mushrooms for dinner. Anni thinks mushrooms will give Ivan a bad stomach. She prepares an infusion and (kindly) offers it to Ivan, who gladly drinks appreciating the wonderful taste. The infusion is in fact a potent laxative that takes immediate affect.

All in all a wonderful movie from Russia that reaffirms the beauty of life and the futility of war. It is also a movie about making connections by letting go of fear, suspicion and predisposed biases.

Solid performances by Anni-Kristiina Juuso & Ville Haapasalo.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cukoo November 9, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this movie at a festival last month. It was produced in Russia, with the subject matter taken from WWII somewhere along the Finland/Russia border in Lapland. Fabulous scenery! I have seen other movies about this time period from the Finnish perspective. This is not a typiclal war movie with lots of blood and gore. Its main characters include a Finnish soldier left to an uncertain fate by his Germain allies, a Lapp woman, and a captured Russian soldier. All three speak with great emotion in their native tongues throughout, although it is apparent that they do not share a common language. This lends humor at times, but also adds a great deal to the effectiveness of their roles. Thank God for subtitles. Both of the Finns, the soldier and the Lapp, are well known cross border thesbians. The Russian actor deserves to be as well. One of the best movies I have ever seen, but I have the advantage of perspective of the era portrayed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite movies that I wanted to own which makes 3
Arrived safe and sound and quickly. One of my favorite movies that I wanted to own which makes 3!, I am very picky!

Wonderful, fun movie but with great message.
Published 8 hours ago by Amazing Grace Dancer
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Cuckoo"..title had little to do with show!
The plot was interesting and it was well acted.
Published 1 month ago by W. Conover
1.0 out of 5 stars Strange
This is a very strange movie about WW 2 in Finland. In Russian and Finnish with English subtitles. I cannot recommend it.
Published 1 month ago by Mauserwerke
5.0 out of 5 stars gritty
this one will make you rethink your heros on any side of the war. find a small out of the way hut to hide in and a skirt to hide under and see if you feel like killing anyone?
Published 2 months ago by will crow
5.0 out of 5 stars One-of-a-Kind Rustic Frontier Scandanavian
I watched this movie once when Blockbuster stores used to be around. Been thinking about this movie a lot, need to find it for rent somewhere
Published 7 months ago by Pomai
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an interesting film idea. Three people with no common language...
It is a great film!!!!!!!!!! I had been told about it by a friend so I looked around for it - finally found it in my local library! I liked it so much I went out and bought it!
Published 8 months ago by L. Duvall
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this the first time and it will not be the last
I will watch this movie over and over and am sharing it with my 93 year old Finnish father. He's had it for 3 weeks now and has been "too busy" to watch it. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Janice Coggiola
5.0 out of 5 stars Humanity at its best in Cuckoo
Beautifull movie, humanity at its best in this woman ( Cuckoo ) who has the courage to face the violence of wars and is able to save and transform two soldiers back to human... Read more
Published 10 months ago by terrence trudeau
5.0 out of 5 stars A Strange , Wonderful and Amusing Love Story
Great movie for those of you who like an interesting plot. The film takes place during the war and is filmed in 3 languages so subtitles are a must. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Kitty
5.0 out of 5 stars A Different Take on "Lost in Translation"
One war (just ending), three people, three languages, three cultures, three agendas; and really, a fourth person/language/culture/agenda as the viewer watches it in subtitles. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Donne Hayden
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