I’d previously read (and thoroughly enjoyed) Jonas Jonasson’s bizarre and entertaining book about the unlikely adventures of a man who avoids attending his own 100th birthday party by climbing out of the window of his room in an old people’s home. It therefore seemed only right that I saw Felix Herngren’s film version when it opened at the Watershed yesterday afternoon. The book version is long and complicated, so I was fascinated to see how successful (or not) the director would be in adapting it into a film of less than 2 hours in length. In the event, I thought he did pretty well. My one real reservation relates to having one actor (49 year-old Robert Gustafsson) portraying a character who ages from a late teenager to a centenarian (complete with very heavy make-up). Compared with the book, this was always going to be difficult and, for me, so it proved.One of the entertaining bonuses (if slightly annoying at times!) was that, somewhat predictably for matinee performances, the vast majority of the modest audience consisted of “old people” (yes, I know, just like me… but even a little older!) who clearly had no prior knowledge of the story (or the book) and spent much of the afternoon conversing in rather loud stage whispers about the film’s plot and/or “ooohing and aaahing” when surprising things happened on screen!
If you’re up for a romp, this film’s for you!