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