To be honest, I was scared of watching Heavy Trip. With its use of heavy metal music and characteristics, the film’s target audience are metal fans. Suffice to say, except that one time when someone played a metal cover of Let It Go and uploaded the video on Youtube, I have never really been a fan of heavy metal music, let alone soft metal ones. However, the film proved to be better than what I expected from it.
As Juuso Laatio’s and Jukka Vidgren’s first feature Finnish film, Hevi reissue (Heavy Trip) revolves around the adventure of friends Turo, Lotvonen, Pasi, and Jynkky as they try to make their way into fame and stardom from a little Finnish village called Taibalkoski to a Norwegian metal festival called Northern Damnation. In essence, the film may be a coming-of-age movie, a cult-classic, or whatnot, but what I can honestly say about it is, even though I was not part of its target audience, I was still able to enjoy watching it. Unlike the other films we have watched, this story was the most predictable for me. That is to say that although it focused on heavy metal music, I was unpredictably comfortable watching it, with its comedic, romantic, crazy, and sometimes cringey scenes that, put together, creates a feel-good film.
As a wannabe black metal band, and especially with long hair, Turo and his friends experience prejudice and mockery by the people in their small village. They were called losers, hippies, and Mia’s father even wanted Jouni to marry Mia instead of Turo, because according to him, the Impaled Rectum consisted of a druggies, addicts, and hippies and Jouni was the perfect son-in-law – not Turo. Essentially, with the exception of their families and Mia, the whole town did not like the Impaled Rectum. However, we can see that it was the opposite when they heard that the group would have their first gig – internationally! The guys who mocked Turo for his hair apologized and told him he was awesome, and everyone wanted to hear them play at where Jouni usually plays. With the exception of Mia’s father, this shows how the town only supported them when they were sure that the group had a future in what they’re pursuing. When they were not sure, they merely mocked and made fun of them – isolating them for what they stereotypically look like. However, and I have to say, that I admire what Mia’s father was trying to do. He was hard at Turo, because he wanted what he thought is best for Mia, and he thought that “best” was Jouni. But when Mia told him she wanted Turo and that her dad doesn’t have to protect her anymore, he was really supportive and tried to stop the military from advancing towards Turo when the band was playing. Essentially, even though he seemed a bit judgmental, as a father, he just wanted to protect his little girl.
Lastly, I think the death of Jynkky, although a bit extreme, was fundamental in the story. If it weren’t for them taking his casket and the casket accidentally falling into the water, the group would not be able to go the festival (by means of Vikings ships, I might say). Their adventure even had them admitted to play in the festival, which they know is what Jynkky wanted even if he was already dead.
Conclusively, Heavy Trip provided a fun and, somehow, unique way to end my last semester. Although it was a bit Hollywood-y, I think with the story’s mix of comedy, romance, adventure, craziness, and maybe a bit of stupidity, it kind of sums up my experience in the class. That is, the films we have watched throughout the semester, with the various film genres we’ve encountered, can be summed up by Heavy Trip.