‘Games People Play’ – Film Review

I have many fond memories from my late teenage years of good times with friends. Many of those centre on a holiday house in Dunsborough that was owned by one of my friend’s families. Even just writing about it now I have visions of wood-paneled walls and a short road ambling down to the beach! We’d bundle up into cars and venture away to spend days and nights there for weekend fun. Birthday shenanigans, graduation celebrations… Whatever the occasion, that wonderful little place on the coast was our most common destination!

Knowing my history of memories with friends tied so firmly to place, it’s not surprising that the opening scenes of the Finnish film ‘Games People Play’ sparked a sense of nostalgia within me. It follows a group of old friends holding a surprise birthday party at a holiday home where they used to spend time together. As the scene was being set, I could almost imagine that this little Finnish beach house was the place I so fondly remember, and the reuniting characters the friends I so cherished!

As the film continues, tensions and rivalries from decades past bubble to the surface… You witness the characters who are now thirty-somethings with their own ‘grown up’ lives seemingly revert back to their younger selves when placed in this setting from their past. A collision of past and present causes them to reflect and re-evaluate their lives. The film perfectly captures a feeling of picturesque calm with an unsettled undertone, and makes for an intriguing watch. Prepare to get introspective and think about your own life… Are you the same person you were ten years ago? Have you ended up where you thought you would?

After witnessing the trials and tribulations experienced by the characters as they reconciled the paths their lives had taken, I was in two minds. I still had that spark inside from the opening scenes, thinking a big reunion would be wonderous – All the old gang back together again! Although, a new train of thought had emerged after witnessing the film’s tense plot unfold…

Friends, if you’re reading this – I’m totally up for a reunion, but on the following conditions:
1. No one reveals they’re in a secret relationship with my younger sibling
2. No one shows up by plane with a surprise celebrity partner
3. No flirting with each others spouses on the sly

If anyone was entertaining any of those ideas for their next reunion (and more.. I don’t want to spoil the plot!), you’ll just have to watch ‘Games People Play’ to see how they panned out!

‘Games People Play’ will be screening in Perth from July 15th – August 3rd as part of the Scandinavian Film Festival. For tickets/sessions visit HERE.