Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki concludes his self-proclaimed "Loser's Trilogy" with the thoroughly deadpan drama "Lights in the Dusk." After "Drifting Clouds" and "The Man Without a Past," which focused on joblessness and homelessness, respectively, "Lights" takes on loneliness, an affliction that plagues a none-too-bright Helsinki security guard named Koistinen (Janne Hyytiainen).
His co-workers routinely ridicule him and women snub his romantic overtures with such regularity it hardly fazes him. Benumbed to his surroundings, Koistinen fantasizes about starting a rival security firm to put his current employer out of business. But when he attempts to act on it, even the loan manager at his bank humiliates him.
Koistinen's days and nights are an exercise in the solitary life as he moves grudgingly between his job and his sparse apartment, brushed aside by nearly everyone he encounters. He stops by the frankfurter stand run by Aila (Maria Heiskanen), whose hints at a connection go unnoticed by Koistinen.
Things begin to look up when a steely blond, Mirja (Maria Jarvenhelmi), agrees to go out with him. But it's a classic noir setup. She's playing him for a patsy, using him to get security codes and the keys to a jewelry store for her gangster boss, Lindholm (Ilkka Koivula), and his Russian mob.