A little boy tries to swindle sweets from the shop by sneaking some extra into the bag after weighing and labelling. He ends up at the police station for questioning on the details of this attempted fraud.
The crime is petty, but someone’s got to process it. Fresh trainee Riikka observes an older colleague handle the proceedings and call the boy’s mother. Finally, as the boy is leaving, the officer tells him that his mother isn’t too angry, and he should run on home.
There are no murders or any such drama to be seen here. The more serious themes in the film creep in subtly. Young addicts or drunks can be put in holding cells or taken to a clinic, but there is very little the police can concretely do to help them. Only a few encounters with the authorities are enough to discern the outline of an unhappy life ahead.
Along the way Riikka – and the audience – finds out what the job entails, and is shown how to deal with the situations that arise. The police are called to an apartment where a night of drinking has turned into an argument. The lady of the house wants to explain her life’s worries to Riikka, ”woman to woman”. As the team debriefs afterwards, a colleague advises her to nip these conversations in the bud, as otherwise you might be stuck there till morning.
What Comes Around is a portrait of Finnish society as it’s ravaged by booze, drugs, and everyday miseries. In the end, we all are only human, even the police officers.
Juhana Pettersson (translated by Virpi Sumu)