When his boys were growing up, the farmer expected them to do all the manly things he did with his hands: chopping wood, scything the 10 acre for hay, grubbing spuds, breaking the ice on the drinking trough, shooting bears [his hat L is made of bear-skin]. His wife did her best to protect her boys from this harsh and unforgiving life, which she recognised as being on the edge of the dustbin of history. They were let stay inside to study while she went out to do the chores, or they helped her make buns in the kitchen. One of the sons got himself an education is now a nuclear physicist in Belgium. The other is less obviously successful but has a quiet sense of self-esteem; which he might have developed avoiding, with the mother's help, the demands of his father and the goddamn farm. There is a telling moment at the end of the film when he comes home from 'minding the farm' [actually going on a nostalgia trip through the boxes in his old bedroom] with a stack of his mother's recipes which he then shares with his own daughters. When the buns are made, the old man shuffles up to the kitchen table and sits down with his family. Maybe silently acknowledging that growing a loving and lovely family is an accomplishment at least as valuable at saving a moribund farm from the encroaching wilderness.
Another thread in the film is a persistent guying of Russia and the Russians, which the old man persists in calling Soviets 25 year after perestroika. Like us in Ireland with the monstrous British next door; Finland has lived under threat from its enormous and potentially rapacious neighbour to the East. Despite the Winter War / Зи́мняя война́ in 1940, when the Finns held off a numerically superior Red Army for several brutal months, Remember Karelia. Finns are careful not to annoy the Russians too much. But that only fuels the development of subversive irony and ridicule: in Mielensäpahoittaja, Russians are charicatured by a plutocrat called Sergei [of course] who struts about with a bullying sense of entitlement, has a taste for drink and is maudlin and sentimental.
In summary, The Grump is like science's Ig Nobel Awards "first it makes you laugh and then it makes you think". Here on The Blob, in January this year, was a brief flood of page-views from Russia and I thought I was going viral in Красноя́рск or Владивосто́к but that tide drained away. Recently there has been another wave of traffic from Russia. I hope that they can take their satirisation like a man. Don't leave me boys! Не оставляйте меня товарищей!