Follow TV Tropes


Film / Three Wise Men

Go To
From left to right: Erkki, Rauno and Matti.
Three Wise Men (Finnish: Kolme viisasta miestä) is a 2008 drama film directed by Mika Kaurismäki.

It's Christmas Eve, and three old friends are facing hardships in their personal lives: Matti's wife is pregnant with another man's baby; Erkki is terminally ill and has an illegitimate son who doesn't know about him; Rauno has just returned from France, only to be faced with a sudden tragedy.

On that same day, the three of them meet by accident. They decide to forgo a traditional holiday celebration, and instead spend the night together drinking and singing karaoke. It starts off well enough, each one keeping their own problems to themselves - but as the night progresses, resentments, regrets, secrets and personal issues begin to surface.

Not to be confused with the 2003 animated film The 3 Wise Men.


Three Wise Men contains examples of:

  • Calling the Old Man Out: When Rauno's ex-wife commits suicide, their son blames him for it.
  • Character Development: All three of them: Erkki, who's had constant one-night stands, ends up in a steady relationship; Matti, who storms off the moment his wife is done giving birth, eventually makes peace with the situation and decides to raise the child as his own; Rauno, who's been avoiding his family, rebuilds his relationship with his son.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: Double Subverted: Rauno claims he has a girlfriend in France, which the other two believe is fabricated. Then it turns out he does have a French partner, but it's a man.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Matti and Erkki have no idea what Rauno went through at the hospital; their joking at his expense is intended as friendly teasing, but instead makes him explode in frustration (see Suddenly Shouting below).
  • Advertisement:
  • Interrupted Suicide: Erkki is about to take lethal poison when Matti calls him and asks to go for a drink.
  • Really Gets Around: Erkki has lots of unprotected sex, and has had at least three children (all with different women) as a result.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Rauno snaps shortly after the others make some tactless jokes at his expense when his sexuality is outed.
  • Straight Gay: Rauno.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Erkki has incurable cancer.