The very funny Swedish adventure/comedy film, The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, is well worth your time. The film is partially narrated in English with subtitles for the dialogue. It is rated R for language and some violence. The screenplay was based on a novel by Jonas Jonasson.
It was the third highest grossing film in Sweden, and I can see why. (First and second highest grossing films are the Swedish films The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and The Girl Who Played with Fire.) The format of the film reminded me a bit of Forrest Gump, the Tom Hanks movie where the unlikely character of Forrest meets famous people throughout his life as he traverses some very volatile times in America.
This film follows the life of Allan Karlsson (Robert Gustafsson) in flashbacks and in the present. He also has met famous people through the years, but in this case, they are dangerous world leaders during the World War II years and Cold War times. Like Forrest Gump, he is a bit of a simpleton too, but one who skates through his life untouched and unharmed even when others are falling like leaves around him.
We see him first as he is soon celebrating his 100th birthday while living in a nursing home/retirement home, and who’s to know why he suddenly decides to climb out of the window of his small room and take off walking down the road. Adventures follow, as his 100-year old mind is not the brightest or clearest these days, especially when we see later that he’s been a bit daft his whole life.
The people he gets mixed up with are badass gang members who pursue him until the end for a suitcase of theirs with some valuable contents that Allan has unwittingly walked off with. He also has police trying to find him, as it doesn’t look so good for the retirement home to simply lose a resident. Allan essentially ends up being on a road trip, hooking up with other willing travelers who assist him in various ways. Julius (Iwar Wiklander) is the first to join him, and eventually includes Gunilla (Mia Skäringer) with her pet elephant. It is all very comical, and I smiled or laughed throughout the entire film. My husband enjoyed it too.
The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared was nominated for an Academy Award in 2016 for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling. Robert Gustafsson was born in 1964, so is clearly not 100 years old, not even close. Most of that expert makeup and hairstyling was for him, as he depicts several different decades of Allan’s life during the movie. There is a sequel that came out recently, The 101-Year-Old Man Who Skipped Out on the Bill and Disappeared. More silliness I’m sure, and I hope it doesn’t suffer the fate of many sequels that all too often come up short, not living up to the original.