A fourteen-year-old boy in a stifling Helsinki slum takes some unwise life lessons from his soon-to-be-incarcerated older brother.
In a recurring nightmare, Simo (Johannes Brotherus), a 14-year-old with a sweet, open face, swims around an underwater train car, desperately looking for exits. The reality to which he awakens is only marginally less hopeless. Simo lives in a cramped public housing project with his alternately neglectful and manipulative mother (Anneli Karppinen) and Illka (Jari Virman), the troubled big brother he looks up to for lack of other viable role models.
On a weekend night before Jari “goes inside,” the two brothers wander around a Finnish capital self-consciously drenched in noir tropes. In their encounters with druggies, enforcers, Illka’s masochistic girlfriend, one excruciatingly stereotyped gay predator and the traumatized dreamlife inside Simo’s head (where scorpions abound), the brothers both witness and collaborate on atrocities of accelerating brutality, all of them lovingly fussed over by an overbearingly poetic camera.