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The Jonas Jonasson novel "The Centenarian Who Climbed Out the Window
and Vanished" has been a gigantic success in Sweden, selling more that
250.000 copies. A success that has spread to a lot of other countries
as well. I read the book just days before I saw the world premiere on
this, as I got the book as a x-mas gift, just two days before the
Well, to make a long story short, this is an unlikely black comedy in style of Forrest Gump, though darker and way more stupid, and filled with more stupid humans. Other films it's in class with here would be "Fargo", "One night at McCools", "Seven psychopaths" a.s.o. The book functions, and I'm glad to say that the narrative grips made on this as a script works as well. It's a good farce, which will give out many laughs. The two hours goes like it's one.
The 100 years old Allan runs away from his birthday party, and starts a story which only he could be behind. Inwise decisions gives severe results, and looking back on his own life, he's done it before. He's made both tragedy's as well as things leading to happier consequences. They have tried to lock him up more than once, but he's not the easiest to detain.
I enjoyed the film in a quite crowded cinema, which already started laughing at the first scene, and so i t went on. A mixed audience, with surprisingly many pensioners, which have read the book, will probably guarantee the film to be an even bigger success than the novel. At least, that's my guess.
Well, how well is the novel brought to the screen, then? Well, surprisingly well, I would say. The most boring parts of the book is when Allan thinks back, and this is narrated down, so that the story happening present is the main thing. That's a major thing in making this work. There's been some minor changes done to shorten the travel, which unfolds like some kind of a trip or road movie, if you like, just as the book.
The make up is brilliant, and way better than we've seen in Hollywood films (!). Amazing. Robert Gustafsson, playing Allan, is just turning 50, but here he looks perfect both in the twenties, the thirties and as 100 years old. (Well, maybe he looks eighty-something more than 100, but still it's quite passable.)
Some of the CGI isn't exactly brilliant. This I see much better in Norwegian movies. Especially all the explosions are bad, but it doesn't hurt the story, since it's far from believable anyway. The famous persons portrayed are also quite good. The casting is well done, also when it comes to the actors playing the younger Allan. What annoys extremely is the music, which not only is stupid and too "funny", it's also very high in the sound mix. This is the worst bit of the movie. There's also some goofs, like the frozen guy and a tank lid closing itself, while driving away, but still not very big issues.
So very well done, and the best Swedish comedy I've seen in many years. Thanks to a great staff, a quite large budget (63 millions SEK) and wonderful actors. (I'm sure it will play in the money!) The book is well taken care of, and if you enjoyed the movie, you'll find a lot more in the book, now with the clients you've seen here.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really liked the story and the acting from Robert Gustafsson. A funny
film with great scenario and well done history facts. With great
finishing twists and quiet good computer effects.
Combining world war 2 and the cold war is just fantastic. And having a ''look back'' in every couple scene makes the storyline much more attractive. It's very funny to have the same Swedish man appearing in big historic events from 1940 and until the end of the cold war.
I wish I could be as cool when I reach 100 years old.
A must see Nordic comedy film with great actors and a great plot. I haven't seen a film like this for years.
This movie is extremely funny. From the moment the old man crawls out of the window until the very end of the movie, it is a stitch. It is fast paced and all the characters are well drawn and fleshed out, even characters that only appear near the end of the movie. I was reminded of Peter Seller's movie "Being There" and, yes, there was a bit of "Forrest Gump" in it. I did not object to the "violent" deaths that some of the characters experienced because they were so over the top that they could not be taken seriously and the audience apparently agreed with me since everyone was howling with laughter. We saw the movie at the Chicago Film Festival and it was one of the few times I have attended a film festival when the entire audience stood up and clapped at the end of the movie.
This film follows the progress of Allan Karlsson, a simple man with a
predilection for blowing things up, after he leaves his nursing home to
embark on a journey that will take him wherever it takes him. Through
flashbacks we see that this is a metaphor for his entire life. Karlsson
has, it turns out, been with several significant figures of the 20th
century and, unwittingly, has profoundly affected its course.
The film is comic, darkly comic, absurdist, farcical, a chase caper, an espionage thriller and, finally, peaceful. It is all of these things successfully in a way that Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" attempted to be, but didn't quite manage. More importantly, the characters are entirely believable despite the often fantastical story lines. It is also beautifully shot.
"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans." Allen Saunders
A centenarian in an elderly home decides to walk out moments they were
about to host party for his 100th birthday.
On the surface, how eventful an event could this be? Well you would be surprised. He goes to the bus station and with the little money he had buys a one way ticket out of town. A stranger asks him to look out for his luggage and though he agreed he decided to steal it and little did he know that it was filled with money which made him a wanted man.
From then on, we follow this centenarian who tries to avoid the elderly home who sent for him, the gang who owned the stolen money as well as the police. His action plan: none! He took it a step at a time and the audience were treated to en ever ending hilarious situations all the way to the end.
Clever plot, well made in a way that actually made it somewhat believable (unlike the Hollywood tendency to go way over the top) this was an unexpected treat.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First of all I'm Swedish, but I've always lived in the Netherlands. I
speak Swedish, Dutch and English. Maybe this is the reason why I had a
great time watching the movie. There are language and accent jokes
(i.e. Gothenburg vs. Stockholm) and such which I really enjoyed, but
these may lose their meaning in translation.
The acting may not be perfect, but it never really bothered me. Without subtitles the mumbling of the old man may cause some annoyance to Swedes, but anybody else won't have problems with appropriately placed subs.
Anyway, I might be going out on a limb here, but I can't help seeing parallels with the role of Sweden in recent history. I'm not a historian, but from what I know, some points made me think of another level.
Spoiler: Let me just point to some events with a big tongue in cheek, without proving anything:
Sweden has been neutral country since the beginning of the 20th century. (Allan makes friends all over the world, without choosing sides deliberately).
He is an explosives expert, since the beginning. (Swedish Alfred Nobel discovered dynamite not long before Allan was born).
Allan lost his ability to have children. (Is this the metaphor for being neutral/neutered the rest of his life? Later on he even says that this was more of a blessing than a curse).
Many big events are touched upon, but the Great Wars aren't really mentioned. Sweden had no official role in these wars.
They're might be more, feel free to elaborate.
I couldn't help but to think of these parallels, so please reply if you think I have a lead, or if I am seeing things that aren't there.
Funny movie, great special effects, high quirkiness value,
Olof Magnus Wennardt
Not really of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if some would make
that comparison. That old man also seems to have left his mark in
history. And while I haven't read the book, I can tell you that the
movie is funny in a weird way. Something that you might expect from
something with a title like that.
The story moves along nicely with interceptions from time to time, that tell us what happened when he was younger. And also are there to show us what sort of character he is. It's tough to really threaten a man of his age. The actor playing him is much younger of course, which we can see when he plays the younger version in the flashbacks. The makeup is more than decent enough in the "now". Really nice and good, this movie is entertaining
An unexpectedly great movie. I wasn't anticipating much from this
Swedish independent, but was laughing all the way through. Fast paced
and written with wry deadpan humor.
The main character displays similar characteristics to Peter Sellers' Chauncey, in 'Being There'. Its also somewhat reminiscent of Arthur Penn's 70's classic 'Little Big Man' starring Dustin Hoffman in terms of the plot layout.
Whether these were intentional homages to personal favorites of mine is not clear, but they worked magnificently. Serious belly laughs as dry humor is dropped effortlessly into every scene.
It is such a refreshing change from all those polished Hollywood set pieces which have decreasingly appealing sequels.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann" is the original
title of this little Swedish movie and well done to you if you manage
to pronounce that. It is written and directed by Felix Herngren, who
worked mostly for Swedish television recently. The film is basically
split into two parts. The life of the hundred-year-old today and his
past years where we get to see how he managed to shape history by
meeting famous statesmen like Stalin and not so famous people like
Einstein's brother. However, I have to say I found his life as a
100-year-old much funnier than the historic references.
The film is as violent with lots of black humor as you would expect from Scandinavian comedies these days if you are familiar with the likes of "In China They Eat Dogs" (which is Danish, but has similar humor). Another interesting anecdote about the film is that the actor who plays the central character isn't even half his age. Lots of make-up work here. Admittedly he looked old, but not even close to 100 or probably 90. The "exploding fox" scene at the start of the film already shows the path of humor this movie is gonna take. If you enjoy the beginning, you will probably also like everything that comes after. Explosions galore. All the characters are very colorful, almost too much that sometimes they seem a bit exaggerated like cartoon characters.
All in all, it's slightly under two entertaining hours, but by no means a must-see. This is a somewhat different road movie and I would like to finish this review by mentioning one of my favorite scenes where that one guys runs around in the biker jacket and the other one totally panics because of it. It's actually much funnier than it sounds here and I won't deny that the film occasionally really succeeded in making me (and the rest of the audience) laugh.
What do you get when you combine Forrest Gump style "travel the world,
affect history" kind of storyline, add in a heap of dark adult humour
and have the protagonist's main character trait to be that he likes to
blow stuff up? In a word, this movie.
It's not as great as Forrest Gump. It's clearly imitating the latter, which is not a problem per se, but it causes us to draw comparisons. And while this film is a great deal of fun, the characters are not as nuanced and are there more for the sake of humour than story. It also doesn't have the depth and humanity, at least not to the same amount.
But let's not dwell on the Forrest Gump similarity too much. Because this film does have strength to stand on its own. It's a hilarious film about an old grump that one day simply decides that retirement home doesn't suit him. And thus he jumps out of the window and goes wandering like, as we find out through numerous flashbacks, he has always done when life gets too boring. Along the way he meets all sorts of people, including an elephant in Sweden, and hijinks ensue, like they often do in these kinds of movies.
This movie shines because of its unpredictability and fast pace. You never know what's coming next and the movie keeps up relentless pace, not letting you dwell on the unlikeness of the things happening on screen, which serves the film's purposes very well. The characters and their actors are also very charismatic and fun to follow around. Sure they're a bit stereotypical, aside from the main character, but that doesn't really bother you as you're watching them go because the events they're in are so bizarre.
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared has one of the most cumbersome titles in a while, but trust me when I say that the film is anything but. If you're looking for a comedy with a dark sense of humour, this is not a bad choice.
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