A film review from our Community Correspondent Emily McCurrie
I was eager to see this film since reading and loving the book by Jonas Jonasson.
The main character, Allan Karlsson, the 100 year old man, doesn’t fit the stereotype of an old, slow man. He is a switched-on character who, pretty much, does as he pleases and I loved that about him! What I also really liked about Allan was his simplistic approach to life. He loses both his parents at a young age and receives little schooling, but becomes a self taught explosives expert and this is where he finds enjoyment in life. Yes, by blowing things up.
I enjoyed the dry humour of this Swedish movie, it was a bit like how Forrest Gump would be in old age. By escaping from his nursing home through his bedroom window like a rogue teenager, Allan ends up taking an incredible journey meeting a realmix of characters. Oh, and an elephant.
I also really liked Allan’s approach to working through problems. He makes me think of the Mindfulness approach to life and having attended a Mindfulness course myself, Allan strikes me as naturally mindful person. Mindfulness is a lot to do with acceptance and he accepts situations as they are. Since using Mindfulness I’m more accepting of the things life throws at me, more accepting of others as they are and more accepting of myself as a person (definitely the hardest bit!) In the past I fought back when things weren’t going my way, but fighting against problems can be like being caught up in a spider’s web and the more you struggle the more entangled you can become in the problems.
But not Allan. He calmly figures out solutions and takes advantage of the opportunities life presents him with. Something I also try to do, although unlike Allan, this has never involved an elephant, a biker gang or Albert Einstein’s not-so-bright brother.
So, watch The 100 Year Old Man if you’re a fan of films like ‘Forrest Gump’ and ‘Yes Man’ and don’t mind unfamiliar actors, dry humour, subtitles and some history thrown in.
For this film, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 although the book would get a 5 out of 5!