One-Way Ticket to Mombasa | Chicago Reader

One-Way Ticket to Mombasa

A 17-year-old Finnish guitarist with a shot at joining a successful rock band collapses onstage; he learns that he has lymphatic cancer and his prognosis is uncertain. His young roommate at the hospital, who's dying, dreams of journeying to Mombasa, Kenya, and losing his virginity. The two of them steal a bag of painkillers, escape from the hospital, travel instead to Lapland (where the rocker knows a girl), and wind up performing for Japanese tourists at an inn. This 2002 road movie is intermittently effective in portraying the restlessness of two young friends eager to live life to the fullest while they can, but director Hannu Tuomainen fails to match his leads' antic energy; the best thing in the film is its concluding song about the glories of Mombasa's beaches. In Finnish with subtitles. 87 min.

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