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

Felix Herngren

Allan Karlsson (Robert Gustafsson) has always had a knack for being in odd places at just the right time. Thus in his century on earth he’s saved Franco’s life, watched A-bombs with Oppenheimer and danced with Stalin. Not that the folk in the care home know anything at all about that…

Told largely in flashback as Allan and a bunch of new-found friends go on the lam with a suitcase of cash “liberated” from some mafia types, this frequently funny (albeit one-joke) road movie combines a sense of heightened reality (a ludicrously high body count) with traditional slapstick.

Based on the bestseller by Jonas Jonasson, it is as much Forrest Gump as it is Baron Munchausen. There is a sense that Allan is a magnet for the whimsical; certainly he exists in a world that is beyond ordinary mortals. And as played by Robert Gustafsson he appears to meander through the decades with nary a care from the Spanish Civil War to a Soviet gulag. With its own intrinsic charm, this movie is defiantly indefinable.

Tony Earnshaw