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When his mother, who has sheltered him his entire 40 years, dies, Elling, a sensitive, would-be poet, is sent to live in a state institution. There he meets Kjell Bjarne, a gentle giant and female-obsessed virgin in his 40s. After two years, the men are released and provided with a state-funded apartment and stipend with the hope they will be able to live on their own. Initially, the simple act of going around the corner for groceries is a challenge. Through a friendship born of desperate dependence, the skittish Elling and the boisterous, would-be lover of women, Kjell Bjarne, discover they can not only survive on the outside, they can thrive. But as their courage grows, the two find oddball ways to cope with society, striking up the most peculiar friendships in the most unlikely places. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Sven Nordin who played one of the leading roles in this movie gained 25 pounds to fit the character he was playing. See more »
[Elling is about to order two train tickets to Oslo]
Train ticket salesman:
Train ticket salesman:
You're going to?
Yes, we! Kjell Bjarne and I are going to Oslo of course.
Train ticket salesman:
There are more ways?
See more »
I doubt how many North Americans have heard of this Norwegian film, but I'm glad I discovered it. I've watched it twice and been very entertained by it. One warning for those inspired to check this out: the first half hour can be a bit boring, but stick with it and you'll be rewarded with a very funny, charming film.
The story centers around two guys who are released out of a state mental hospital and given an apartment to live in (with a probation-type officer keeping tabs on how they're adjusting.) At first, it's tough as they guys are kind of clueless on how to do things on their own, particularly "mama's boy" Elling who is even afraid to use a telephone. His roommate is a big oaf whose main concern in life is to have sex with a woman.
In time, these guys learn nicely how to adjust. Even better, they make a friend or two and help those people with their problems. That's where the charm of the film comes in. Most of the humor is provided by "Elling," who narrates the film with some wonderful dry humor. At first, his whining gets annoying but after he calms down in his new surroundings, he's fun. His roommate winds up as a straight man for his jokes. The roommate, "Kjell Bjarne," is a big help to everyone including a pregnant, abandoned lady. He's an oaf, but one with a big heart.
This is really different and nice story. It's not for kids with a dozen or so s and f- words, but kids wouldn't like this film anyway. The movie will leave the rest of you with a smile on your face.
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