Like Chaplin’s Little Tramp, the protagonist, a man named Koistinen, searches the world for a small crack to crawl through, but both his fellow humans and the faceless apparatus of society see it as their business to crush his modest hopes, one after the other.
A gang of criminals exploit his longing for love and his position of night watchman to pull off a robbery for which Koistinen will be solely blamed. They carry this out with the help of the most callous woman in the history of movies since Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s All About Eve . Thus Koistinen is stripped of his job, his freedom, and his dreams.
Fortunately for him, the film’s director has a reputation for being a kind-hearted elderly man; we can therefore hope that a glimmer of hope will light up the final scene.
– Aki Kaurismäki