“100 Year Old Man Who Fell Out a Window” a deadpan crowd pleaser

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“The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared” didn’t disappear.

a100He had yet another adventure in a series of remarkable ones, that we witness in retrospect.

Along the way we see him interact with Franco, Truman, Stalin, Gorbachev, and Reagan, work on the Manhattan Project and as a double agent for Russian and US intelligence agencies.

And when on his 100th birthday he gingerly climbs out of his window at the nursing home like a cat, wearing only a bathrobe and clogs, what happens to him next – it involves a suitcase full of money, several dead bikers, eccentric traveling companions and an elephant – happens despite, or because, of his failing to interact with life directly.

He falls into things, he doesn’t make them happen.

He’s just along for the ride.

The film  is a “Zelig”-like story with a passive “Being There”-like protagonist, prone to explosives,  alcohol and “Forrest Gump-like banalities (“Life is what it is, and it does what it does” and “Regret doesn’t do you much good unless you have a time machine”).

And like its title character it has a similar frictionless, blowing-in-the-wind and going-with-the-flow style.

The director and co-writer Felix Herngren – working from a popular novel by Jonas Jonasson – pulls off even its most Fellini-like absurdities with a poker faced deadpan that helped make the 2013 film an international crowd pleaser, festival award winner and third most successful Swedish film ever.

And since there is already talk of a sequel, there is little chance of it disappearing soon.

*** Three stars

With Robert Gustafsson, Iwar Wiklander, David Wiberg, Mia Skaringer, Jens Hulton, Alan Ford, Sven Lonn. Produced by Matle Forssel, Felix Herngren, Henrik Jansson-Schweitzer.

Written by Felix Herngren, Hans Ingemansson. Directed by Felix Herngren.

Rated R; language, violence. Approximate running time: 114 minutes.

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