I Hired a Contract Killer | Chicago Reader

I Hired a Contract Killer

The “I” is a lonely office clerk from France (played as a sleepwalker by Jean-Pierre Leaud) living in Thatcherite London and downsized from his dreary job. Unable to commit suicide, he hires a hit man to do him the final favor, then changes his mind when he unexpectedly falls in love. Aki Kaurismaki's first feature in English has many of his signature touches (minimalist sets and lighting, static camera, arch dialogue, a blues-jazz sound track), which combine to transform London into Helsinki's sister city. But the Finnish auteur's homages to Hitchcock and Bresson (among others) are artificial and ultimately stifling. With Margi Clarke and Joe Strummer in a cameo. 79 min.

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