Thursday, February 18, 2010
If you've watched Alexander Payne's About Schmidt starring Jack Nicholson and found yourself comfortable with the pacing of the film, you'd be deligted with this Norwegian import of 2009. I made it a point to watch it myself after Roger Ebert classified it under his best foreign language films of the year. The humour was subtle, and the performance by Baard Owe was equally understated.
The film starts at the point where the lead character is on the threshold of his retirement, after a disciplined life of driving trains for 40 years. Here's a man who depends on monotony. He's never had a more exciting day in his life other than the few times he visits his senile mother in a nursing home.
As uncomfortable he is with his retirement, his social life is restricted to bartenders, a tobacconist, and his colleagues.
But things tend to stop being mundane right from the night of his retirement. A kid forces him to sleep over when he finds himself to be an intruder, he misses his last ever train route, he accompanies an old man, travels in a car driven by a blindfolded guy, adopts a dog... all under unusual circumstances which he never brought upon himself. Unlike other movies which brood about post retirement-depression, this one calls out for the protagonist to live out these years of monotonous bliss like he's got nothing to lose. Pretty decent film. Entertaining if you could really get under the skin of the character of Odd and learn to be him as the film progresses.