Thursday, May 7, 2015

Movie with Abe: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
Directed by Felix Herngren
Released May 8, 2015

A title can say a lot with just one word, and when there are more than ten words included, it says something very interesting. It might suggest that there is much to be said by and inferred from the title, or merely that its lengthy, sprawling nature indicates that its story will possess similar traits. In the case of this odd fantastical adventure, that’s certainly the case, and a decagenarian taking a leave of absence from his nursing home turns into something much bigger and more unbelievable than just a senior citizen gone missing.

Allan Karlsson (Robert Gustafsson) is about to celebrate his hundredth birthday, and the relatively functional man decides that he isn’t content to sit around and grow old where he is. A subtle and unnoticed escape leads him on a grand and rather twisted path that reminds him of his colorful past, which is best described as a darker, (only) somewhat more realistic-seeming version of Forrest Gump’s experiences, painting him as an influential man with truly legendary and notable interactions over the course of his long life.

At first, it is hard to distinguish fact from fiction in both the present-day occurrences in Allan’s post-retirement life and the exaggerated stories retold from his past. The film moves at such a pace, not a quick one but rather a deliberate and irreversible one, that it is difficult to keep up with the fact that things have happened and won’t soon go back to the way they were before, both in terms of small consistencies or larger truths. Deaths, for instance, occur without much apparent consequence or designated significance, and there is a strange overarching sense that this all being taken far too lightly.

This is certainly an appealing and intriguing tale, one that doesn’t feel like other films since it is inarguably unique. Yet the same creativity that fuels it also makes it hard to get fully attached to since it takes some downright peculiar turns. The attitude with which supposedly serious events are handled is particularly perplexing and complex to break it down and help classify this film in a given genre. Still, it’s an interesting story to be sure, and a film that whose turn of events is extremely enthralling. This film has heart: even if Allan isn’t the sweetest elderly protagonist, he’s still an endearing central character to accompany on this last wild ride.


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