The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared film review

July 1, 2014, Article by Beau Merchant in Film & TV, Reviews

Already a huge box office smash in its native Sweden, where it opened on Christmas day last year, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is the big-screen adaptation of the beloved (and over 3 million copy selling) book of the same name.

Allan Karlsson (brilliantly played by Swedish comedian Robert Gustafsson) is due to celebrate his 100th birthday at the retirement home where he’s holed up. He decides he doesn’t fancy a party so climbs out of the window and gets on a bus with a suitcase stuffed with a drug dealer’s money. We follow Allan as he makes his way across the country followed by the police and the skin-head biker gang who want their money back. As you can imagine, madness and hilarity ensue…

Parallel to the main narrative, we glimpse into Allan’s younger years and how he ended up being the man the man he is today. From joining the revolution in Francoist Spain, dancing with Stalin and knocking back drinks with Harry Truman after the first successful testing of the atomic bomb, he lived an extraordinary (and booze filled) life. These past exploits recalled the similar scenes in Forest Gump which no doubt served as an inspiration.

After a chaotic opening, the film eventually finds it’s feet and the warm humour shines through. The plotting and the nicely-played coincidences are handled well, and although the musical score every so often hints that the film’s about to go all slapstick on us, it never does.

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is one of the warmest, most feel-good films this summer and the performances and vivid direction stay with you long after you’ve climbed out of your chair.  A delight.


Watch the trailer here: