The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared: Movie Review
Cast: Robert Gustafsson, Iwar Wiklander, David Wiberg, Mia Skaringer
Director: Felix Herngren
Sometimes, it's not about the destination - it's about the journey.
And that's certainly the case in this adaptation of Jonas Jonasson's book, The 100 Year Old Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared.
Swedish comic Robert Gustafsson stars as Allan Karlsson, the aforementioned OAP who's celebrating a century but whose heart belongs to blowing things up. Cooped up in an old people's home and reflecting on his birthday, Karlsson decides to simply up and leave. So, heading out the window, Karlsson heads for the bus stop and ends up, through a series of mishaps, falling into an adventure that involves biker gangs, a bag full of cash, an elephant and an angry English gangster.
But as Karlsson tells his story, it appears it's not the first time he's found himself in the wrong place at the right time.
A shaggy dog story of the highest order, The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared is nothing short of a little bit insane and quirky.
There's a vein of lunacy and quixotic humour that runs throughout this piece, which sees Karlsson bumping into some major figures throughout history a la Forrest Gump - from General Franco to Harry Truman before swapping explosive advice with Robert Oppenheimer (naturally). As the absurdist journey meanders on its merry way, how much you're on board with this cartoonish almost ACME style memoir will depend on how much you're willing to give to it.
Often hilarious, Karlsson espouses a Life is What It is theology that can really be applied to the movie itself; it's a very gentle anarchy but never really engages the heart as much as it perhaps could. It's good to see a Scandinavian film that doesn't wallow in the dark crime worlds that have become the norm, but The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared tries a little too hard in places to hit the humour, meaning in parts, the coincidental nature of what transpires feels a little forced.
That said, The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared is a ramshackle tale that will reward those who choose to simply go with the flow.