The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
Directed by Felix Herngren
This film has an obnoxiously long title, but a story that climbs out the window and into your heart. Getting straight to the point, the title of this Swedish film really says it all. 100-year-old Allan (Robert Gustafsson) decides that it is time for him to up and leave his retirement home, and so simply escapes out the window and walks off. He throws caution to the wind and plans to have no plan, simply content to end up wherever the road and chance lead him. In a hilariously strange turn of events, Allan ends up with a suitcase of cash and a “posse” consisting of another elderly gentleman, a confused and ambitious student, a brave Swede with her rifle and, of course, a circus elephant. While following their crazy antics, the audience is given flashbacks to Allan’s life and the events that shaped him into the “old geezer” the world has labelled him to be.
This movie is, at its core, purely random. That really is the only way to put it. People are dying left, right and centre from freezers, elephants and child-made explosives. There are crazy prison escapes, wild parties and downright strange circumstances that lead dazed and confused Allan to become a bomb specialist, a double agent, a crucial part of the Manhattan Project and best mates with Albert Einstein’s brother. Yet, despite all this, Allan is still the kind of bloke that takes time out of his busy schedule to have a wee swim in the lake to celebrate his birthday. Top notch, Allan, top notch.
My one and only pet peeve was the prosthetics for the elderly fellow. In an ideal world, I would have preferred a real 100-year-old Swedish man to take the lead; but, alas, they must have all been busy celebrating their birthdays in the safety of their retirement homes and not climbing out of windows. Such is life, I suppose.
This light-hearted take on light-heartedness though is a blessing in disguise. The utter stupidity of the storyline and the superb acting of our dumfounded characters make the film a truly engaging, funny and worthwhile adventure.