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'The 100-year old man' bestseller, now a film, celebrates the spirit of adventure


Cinema

'The 100-year old man' bestseller, now a film, celebrates the spirit of adventure

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‘The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared’ is a Swedish comedy based on the bestseller of the same name by Jonas Jonasson.

It is the story of Allan, who, on his 100th birthday, climbs out of the window of his old people’s home and goes on an adventure. Along the way he acquires a suitcase full of money, some new friends and an elephant.

Director Felix Herngren explains what drew him to the story: “It’s just a great story. It’s a lot of fun and it’s a bit absurd and quirky. And then, also, I think all people are kind of afraid to be old, and then we have this picture of, you know, sitting in the elderly home, nobody visiting you and you just staring into a wall and the last 10 years of your life is just shit, you know. It’s kind of liberating to see a man who just climbs out of the window and has the biggest adventure ever waiting for him. So it’s something we can relate to.”

Starring a heavily made-up Robert Gustafsson, dubbed “the funniest man in Sweden” by fans, the movie is already a hit in Scandinavia, where it was released on Christmas Day.

Felix Herngren hopes that can be repeated elsewhere: “Comedy doesn’t travel so easily, but maybe this story is… not so Swedish in one way, I mean it’s about an old man and in that sense it’s kind of a more universal story.”

As the film unfolds, we learn that Allan’s life has been a rich one, filled with many adventures, including meetings with world leaders and treks across the Himalayas.

Screened at the Berlin Film Festival, ‘The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared’ is already out in the UK and is released in Germany in March.

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