I went to the Watershed yesterday afternoon to see Hannes Holm’s “A Man Called Ove” – based on Fredrick Backman’s novel about a grumpy old Swedish man named Ove (played in the film by Rolf Lassgard/Filip Berg as older/younger versions). The character is a widower (his lovely wife Sonja, played by Ida Engvoll, was the light of his life) and he’s recently been made redundant, aged 59, by the company he’s worked for for 43 years.
He has given up on life (literally).
in a small estate upon which he has endeavoured to impose strict rules (introduced when he was chairperson of the local residents’ group)… he
records incidents in his notebook about bad parking or about bikes being left
unattended; he lists items people have borrowed from him (and demands their
return); he criticises other people’s driving abilities… the list goes on, and
I could easily have played Ove in his grumpy mode without even having to act
(and for half the money) (I think even look a bit like him?)! But, in fact, the
Ove character really reminded me of my father (even more than me – which is
saying something!) – organised, practical, community-helper… and, at times,
something of a pig-headed, busy-body!
well as the grumpy bits (indeed, often arising out Ove’s very grumpiness),
there were some lovely, funny incidents – like him stopping talking to his best
friend for ten years because he dared to buy a Volvo instead of a Saab!
sad, lonely regime is shaken by the arrival of a pregnant Parvanah (an Iranian immigrant,
excellently played by Bahar Pars) and her family, who move in next door… and a
beautiful friendship develops.
yet read the novel (but I definitely will, in due course).
Strangely, although I really enjoyed
the film, I came away feeling just a little disappointed. Perhaps my
expectations (after seeing the trailer) had been unreasonably high? I THOUGHT I
would absolutely LOVE the film… but, in the event, it fell just a little short
of my hopes and expectations.
(as the Watershed’s programme blurb puts it), “what emerges is a heartwarming,
funny, and deeply moving tale of unreliable first impressions and a gentle
reminder that life is sweeter when it’s shared”.
abide with me
3 months ago