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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared

July 10th, 2014 by Conor ONeill Comments

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared (15)
Directed by: Felix Herngren
Starring: Robert Gustafsson, Iwar Wiklander & David Wiberg
Running time: 114mins

SNAPPY title, eh? For once the blurb rings true, ‘Verging on slapstick from beginning to end, the film opens with an old man living quietly with his beloved cat Molatov…’ And this is were I could award my star rating, cut and paste, tell you all to go see this movie, buy a cheap bottle of plonk and fall asleep before the soaps come on. But, being a superfluous little gas-bag and with a Jack Russel of an editor nipping at my heels (Oi! – Marc), I suppose I must expand, extrapolate and as I went for a two minute pee break during the film, embellish. Just a little!

Directed by Felix Herngren, nope, me neither, and adapted from the best seller of Jonas Jonasson, we meet Molotov’s death to be avenged by a fox who meets a quicker death thanks to sausages and dynamite . Our main man character Alan (Robert Gustafsson) is put into a nursing home. On his 100th birthday, forgoing the Queen’s telegram and the massive marzipan cake made in his honour, he slips out of the window seeking adventure. And boy does he get it, even if he’s totally unaware of the events unfolding around him.

Enter a slight mishap at a bus station, Swedish Neo-Nazis, an East-End ‘Guvnor’ living in Bali, a bus, an elephant, car chases and smashes, amnesia, the Paris uprising of ’68, the fall of the Berlin Wall, 50 million in coin, a bright yellow bus and a strange array of mishaps picked up along the way like fleas on a coffin ship and you’re close to what I watched. Ever been sat on by an elephant? Me neither. Watch this movie and you won’t want to.

This film is part Forest Gump as it flicks to and from the past and the present: Alan has a colourful history involving the KGB, CIA, Franco, Stalin, Gorbachev, Reagan, the plutonium nuclear bomb, double agents and more besides. Part road move as the merry but much chased members are chased by the law and the lawless, part True Romance with lives and money at stake. Add that sublime Swedish dark humour which we Brits and Irish seem to bathe and hippo-like wallow in – did I mention the film is Swedish with English subtitles? – and what we have here is a fine, fine flick, or, as I know you youngsters like to call them, the ‘talkies’.

I’ll go back to the opening blurb and title. A Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out A Window And Disappeared. Slapstick from beginning to end…’

If you’re after a dander through the best and worst of the preceding century and a feel good film to take a first date on to show them you’re the cultured type, book your tickets. If you’re not such a pretentious twit and just enjoy exploratory, refreshing and a good but two-plus-two-equals four feel good film, once again, book your tickets.

The Hundred-Year-Old… forget it, I cant be bothered typing the whole title in again. Enjoy.

5 out of 5 Nerds

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Conor O'Neill is at times a playwright and a qualified journalist. He has worked for the Belfast Telegraph, Portadown Times and South Belfast Advertiser. He also contributes to various online e-zines, specialising in theatre, gig reviews and other cultural events. If you were to ask him what he does, he will say 'I'm functioning'... that's a lie. Best suited to pressure and deadlines, O'Neill thrives on the moment, the passion and the thrill of now, he's only happy when he's watching or reviewing a play.