A movie review of “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared”: Robert Gustafsson stars as the title character in this appealing Swedish adventure comedy.
The film genre that might be called Old People Behaving Hilariously gets an appealing new entry with “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared,” a sometimes daffy, often droll Swedish movie. Among other things, this film dares to ask the controversial question: Can a cadaver dog distinguish between a body that’s dead and one that is merely triple-digit old?
Allan (Robert Gustafsson) is about to be honored with a 100th birthday party when, for no particular reason, he decides to climb out the window of the retirement home where he lives and do some aimless traveling. How aimless? “Can you travel somewhere from here?” he asks the ticket clerk at the local bus station.
A customer with an urgent restroom issue leaves his suitcase with Allan, who promptly boards a bus with it, not realizing it is stuffed with cash. That sets off an adventure in which he is pursued by various nefarious types, most of whom come to unfortunate ends. It is one of these whose body draws the attention of the cadaver dog. But the police official investigating the increasingly odd string of events Allan is leaving in his wake is inclined to discount the dog’s report, thinking that perhaps Allan is causing a false reading.
‘The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared,’ with Robert Gustafsson. Directed by Felix Herngren, from a screenplay by Herngren and Hans Ingemansson, based on a novel by Jonas Jonasson. 114 minutes. Not rated; for mature audiences. In Swedish, with English subtitles. SIFF Cinema Uptown.
The New York Times does not provide star ratings with reviews.
“Older people don’t smell like we do,” the official explains to a colleague. “A sweeter smell, sort of — a bit cadaverish.”
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As Allan ambles on, he picks up some friends and an elephant, and we also learn about his rather eventful life through flashbacks. Turns out the fellow was a catalytic force in some major historical events. Who knew?