I just found this movie at the local library and really, you’ve got to find and see this as it will rearrange your brain. But in a good way.
(LINK TO THE TRAILER IS BELOW)
Adapted from the runaway international best seller: ” THE 100-YEAR OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED”. The biggest grossing Swedish film of all time.
Directed By FELIX HERNGREN, 2013
Last night as rain relentlessly poured down on droughted old California I was cozied up and eating a fabulous dinner I’d made, awash in a lovely Australian Ruby Port, trying to not roll off the couch laughing because of heretofore unknown, unseen, unheralded (to me) Swedish (heavily subtitled, part in spoken English) movie, featuring the hysterically funny escapades of my new hero, Allan Karlson, The 100 Year Old Man.
He’s a kind of Scandinavian Forrest Gump whom we meet as he escapes his boring retirement home. The candles for his ho-humish 100th birthday cake are being set alight in the room next door. Allan is a long way not finished with living. Out the window he goes.
His past unfolds before us in remarkable flashbacks. There isn’t anything he hasn’t done, improbably unscathed, though –like Forrest– is sort of someone you might not want to spend time with so much as get to know from a distance. Allan loves dynamite more than life itself and most especially blowing things up. The pursuit of which over the course of a hundred years variously gets him locked away, drafted into world wars, cajoled into fighting the Spanish Civil War, a comradery with Franco, building skyscrapers in NY, a fabulous prisoner of war bit with Einstein’s idiot brother (I know, me too), instructing Oppenheimer on the Manhattan Project, advising Stalin, becoming a daring double agent in the Cold War, and now ~~in present day~~ being chased by a really mean filthy lot of killer Swedish biker thugs called the “NEVER AGAIN” Gang (I know, me too). Out of necessity, Allan is killing people (only the bad ones) and blowing up a lot of things along the way. Citizens and cops in pursuit.
Allan has sort of inadvertently stolen millions of dollars from one of the Swedish bikers. Which rightfully belongs to an Aussie gangster. Who is living la vida loco. In Bali. By the time we learn this, Allan’s fallen in with 2 odd fellows with time on their hands, and a really charming pretty young woman whose otherwise useless ex-boyfriend (one of the bikers) shows up hunting for the moolah, then wants to rekindle their romance (he had somewhat redeemed himself once when he rescued a circus elephant for her) (but he’s no longer worth shit). She keeps the elephant, named Sonya, in the barn.
All the wrong people get credit for things they didn’t do of course, the bad guys are sorted out from the good ones, the heroes are made accidentally, the animals do very well, and there you are, it’s worth the time just to be reminded how remarkably we can live without hardly trying. And no it’s not the Mel Brooks 500 year old man which I’d thought in the first place when I took it home.
The filmmaker, director, book author and whole unlikely lot took two years making this strange Swedish opus. You can’t hardly tell you’re on the planet except everyone’s so human. It’s kind of like you’re somewhere being fed somemores, hearing the story told and you can’t wait for more, and you never have to leave the campfire.