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Allan Karlsson sits on the edge of his bed in a retirement home. Looking out of the window, he ponders his life so far. Which is quite lengthy – he has turned 100 today.
But Allan has a sudden final burst of life..
As the nurses of the retirement home enter his room with a birthday cake on a trolley, they all cheerily sing Happy Birthday.
But suddenly stop.
Allan has climbed out of the window.
Robert Gustafsson – Allan Karlsson
Iwar Wiklander – Julius
David Wiberg – Benny
Mia Skäringer – Gunilla
Jens Hultén – Gäddan
Bianca Cruzeiro – Caracas
Alan Ford – Pim
This movie reminded me very much of French success Amélie.
From the sumptuous, colourful scenery to the quirky humour of the lead character, it contained the same sort of traits as the 2001 hit. I think what confirmed the similarity was the scene where Allan tells the viewer about parts of his life. At one point he announces, “all my life people have screamed at me” – which breaks into a collage of clips of various people he has met throughout his life, all screaming at him; his mother giving birth and looking down screaming, a school teacher, an ex-girlfriend, a work colleague, a fellow war veteran..
This reminded me immediately of the scene in Amélie where she wonders ‘how many people are having an orgasm right now?’ – which breaks into split-second clips of random people around the world howling with pleasure.
The main character is quite endearing. He is a very old man who still has a young man’s heart. Added to this is his personality – Allan is open and honest, and seems to make friends easily wherever he goes. The day he climbs out of ‘the window’ and legs it, his adventure begins. He talks his way on to the nearest train and leaves town – then meets a random old gentleman who appears intrigued by his journey – then the gentleman joins him. Together, they hit the road but manage to get into deep trouble with a gang of bad boys who are at least 70 years younger. Of course, this wouldn’t have started had Allan not wandered off to catch his train with a stranger’s suitcase instead of simply watching it whilst the man went to the toilet – like he asked.
Thing is, the suitcase doesn’t contain what you expect – hundreds of pieces of clothing.
It actually contains millions of something else…
Darkly comic isn’t really the right term to describe this film. It’s fucking pitch-black! Dead bodies, fraud, car chases, murder – the dark elements massively outweigh the light. And the events all converge around 100-year-old Allan. Poor sod.
But rather than panic, the old crooner just enjoys the ride. He is 100 after all – why should he give a shit?
If you’re a fan of dark comedy, you’ll probably enjoy this movie. It had me laughing out loud at various parts, due to the ridiculousness of the plot – yet the total honesty portrayed by the characters. One scene sees Allan in the house of his new friend Julius, when an intruder enters the property and attacks Julius. Allan grabs a tool and smashes the intruder over the head, then he and Julius drag the still body out of the living room..
..and into a giant freestanding freezer unit.
The audience seemed to enjoy this, laughing out loud at the bizarre situation unfolding on screen and I have to say – even I found it strangely funny.
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared is a reminiscent tale of this old man’s life. As the movie progresses, he delves into his personal history which is shown on screen; people he has met and worked with, places he has ended up, etc.
I must admit, by the time the film had hit its first hour I was bored – and wondered why I had bothered going to see it. So this man had climbed out of a window and ‘disappeared’ – didn’t mean the rest of the movie was a breathtaking, intriguing piece of cinematic glory. It literally just mean’t ‘camera will now follow very old man as he embarks on road trip’
I actually felt a slight resentment toward Allan at various points, because of his arrogance. My first observation was that the old bastard was slightly ignorant – displayed clearly whenever the other characters with him spoke English when they needed to, yet Allan didn’t try at all – he contined speaking in Swedish, as if the recipient was native. People like that get on my tits.
And then the arrogance..
His reminiscent storytelling is backed up by clips of the scenarios. It was during such clips I had raised eyebrows, mainly due to how arrogant the man was. A dinner party with an incredibly famous political figure turns sour when Allan can’t stop himself commenting on the political figure’s dancing ability. Even when the moment turns nasty and he has the opportunity to settle it there and then, Allan continues waffling.
Yes, parts of this movie had me thinking, “just shut the fuck up you idiot”. He is honestly like one of those unwanted, outspoken people you find in a bar whose drank too much and starts spouting off their opinions. I don’t like to feel so irritated toward an old man, but hey – you can’t warm to everyone.
So the movie began and I started to enjoy its Amélie-esque elements. This was nice.
…1 hour 10 minutes later and I was bored senseless.
I wanted out.
This is a tale of an old man’s journey through quite possibly his last day’s, and a personal account of the journey through his life leading up to this. But overall it seemed a bit of a pointless production; if I wanted any of what I saw / heard in this film I would’ve called my friend Carol and asked to speak to her very old mother.
What can I say – if you think you’re in for a captivating fast-paced piece of excitement, think again.
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared is strange, and a bit boring.
It’s okay if you’re extremely bored on a dull Sunday afternoon but other than that, this is one for the oldies.
And by ‘oldies’ I mean literally people over the age of 80.
The movie just seems to flow at the same pace – no up’s or down’s, which is a shame because this brings no dynamic to the feature at all. It just – happens.
One of those things you’d catch on TV as you’re flicking channels, pause on it, absorb what is happening, and think..
..”fuck that. What else is on?”