DVD REVIEW: THE 100-YEAR-OLD-MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT OF THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: FELIX HERNGREN / SCREENPLAY: FELIX HERNGREN, HANS INGEMANSSON / STARRING: ROBERT GUSTAFSSON, IWAR WIKLANDER, DAVID WIBERG, MIA SKÄRINGER / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 27TH
On the day that he turns 100, Allan Karlsson (Gustafsson) decides that he doesn’t want to attend his birthday party being held at the retirement home at which he resides. Instead, he climbs out of his window in his slippers and walks to the local bus station. There, he buys a one-way ticket to a town and comes into possession of a suitcase filled with drug money. When he arrives at his destination, he makes a new friend, Julius, and thus begins an adventure that involves more stragglers who become part of this rag-tag team of unlikely heroes. Benny (Wilberg) and Gunilla (Skäringer) join up – along with Gunilla’s elephant – as the drug dealers try to catch up with them and get their money back before their boss (played in a cameo by Alan Ford in typical Cockney fashion) takes matters into his own hands. Oh, and the police are on their tail as well due to the number of bodies that are starting to pile up.
As events unfold, Allan recounts his life that takes in encounters with Stalin, Franco, having a major hand in building the atom bomb and various scrapes that anyone else would struggle to survive. But as Allan always says, “Whatever will be, will be.”
Based on the novel by Jonas Jonasson, the film tries to stay as loyal to the book as possible; having to leave out a leave bits and pieces to assist the running time and it’s not a big problem. The film is irreverent and good humoured enough, regardless of the changes. It is probably closest to Forrest Gump in its set up, with a colourful life history parleyed to the audience throughout whilst keeping a modern and central storyline running throughout.
One can’t help but like the characters involved here and there’s a real quirkiness going on that only helps you appreciate the light tone. It may be a Swedish film, but the humour, understated to the point that it's almost intelligent comedy, is more refreshing than the current American trend of seeing how far you can push things.
From a fantastical point of view, this is a great little film and we can also strongly suggest you pick up the original novel as it has some extra plot points that are missing here. Good clean fun.