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100 YEAR OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT OF THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED, THE

SYNOPSIS:
The 100-year-old Allan Karlsson (Robert Gustafsson) decides it's not too late to start over. For most people it would be the adventure of a lifetime, but Karlsson's unexpected journey is not his first. For a century he's made the world uncertain, and now he is on the loose again.

Review by Louise Keller:
There's more than a sprinkling of magic in this beautifully conceived and executed tale about a centenarian who likes blowing up things, a drink-loving station master, a perennial student, a feisty lady with an elephant, a crime boss, a bikie gang and a suitcase stuffed with stolen money. Adapted from Jonas Jonasson's best selling novel, director and co-scriptwriter Felix Herngren has crafted a clever Swedish black comedy that feels as though it is in perpetual motion. It is full of surprises and if you thought that a film whose central character is 100 years old might be dull and staid, think again. The character is simply a conduit with whom we fly on a madcap carpet ride that incorporates historic events and icons from the past. This uplifting, crowd pleasing entertainment is a road movie, a character study, a wild adventure and black comedy all rolled into one. It's a helluva ride.

The story begins in a retirement home when a hundred candles are painstakingly being lit atop a marzipan cake. Our introduction to Robert Gustafsson's Allan Karlsson leaves no doubt that he is a man of conviction. As he climbs out of the window in his slippers and wanders to the train station with no set destination in mind, we understand that he would rather be anywhere else. The first thing we learn about him is that he likes to blow things up. And he's good at it. The present seamlessly slides into the past to give Allan context and his mother's words of wisdom ('You shouldn't talk too much', 'Life is what it is and what it does', 'One thing leads to another') prove to be wise words indeed.

It is best to discover the extraordinary life and times of Allan Karlsson for yourself, but let me just say that Prime Ministers, Presidents, CIA, KGB, Einstein, the atomic bomb, the Berlin Wall and copious amounts of alcohol, dancing and explosions are involved. As for the surreal, bizarre tale that plays out in the present, it's a wondrous series of events in which the body count rises in unexpected circumstances and Allan's latest adventure involving bikies, thugs and unlikely characters is no less amazing than those encountered during the rest of his life.

Gustafsson is marvellous (he is 50 years old, by the way) and the film has received awards not only for his performance but for his make-up. Iwar Wiklander as the station master who hates retirement homes is also terrific, as is David Wiberg as Benny, the timid student who almost knows a lot and Mia Skäringer as the likeable Gunilla who knows a good thing when she sees it. Herngren affectionately colours the tone with splashes of frivolity, while keeping everything grounded by reality. Like 2011's The Intouchables, which became a runaway hit in its home territory of France, unsurprisingly 100 Year Old Man... has captured Swedish hearts - as well as mine.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

100 YEAR OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT OF THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED, THE (M)
(Sweden, 2013)

Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann

CAST: Robert Gustafsson, Iwar Wiklander, David Wiberg, Mia Skaringer, Jens Hulten, Bianca Cruzeiro, Alan Ford

PRODUCER: Felix Herngren, Malte Forssel, Henrik Jansson-Schweizer, PatrickNebout

DIRECTOR: Felix Herngren

SCRIPT: Felix Herngren, Hans Ingemansson (novel by Jona Jonasson)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Goran Hallberg

EDITOR: Henrik Kallberg

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Mikael Verhelyi

RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: StudioCanal

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 21, 2014







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