What happens when an angry old man who thinks he’s lost everything gets new neighbours? Well, Ove is that man and, whether he likes it or not, he has new neighbours.
Ove, Rol Lassgard (best known for playing Wallander on TV), believes he has lost everything that meant something in his life.
His wife has passed-on, he has lost his job after 43-years, he’s even lost the presidency of the homeowner’s association to-boot.
Every morning, Ove does his rounds of the little estate he lives on, checking gates and garages are closed, areas are clean, even that people are recycling correctly.
One-day he decides he’s had enough and attempts to take his own life, just as a new neighbour, Bahar Pars (Dreams, When Darkness Falls) and her husband, move in.
Ove’s life that he’s been living for the last six-months is suddenly thrown into disarray as, each time he makes an attempt on his life, Pars, and the rest of his neighbours, unintentionally stop him.
Ove’s new favourite word is ‘idiot’ which he applies liberally to everyone he comes across. He has an unshakeable love of Saab cars, even falling out with his only friend who drives Volvo’s and then, the ultimate disgrace, a BMW!
When Pars decides she wants to learn to drive she asks Ove who refuses flatly. However, when he sees that she’s learning with another neighbour, in an Audi (described by Ove as having ‘four zeros on the bonnet and one behind the wheel’), he relents and teaches her himself.
Young Ove, played by Filip Berg (Eternal Summer, Blue Eyes (TV)), is a practical man. When he meets his wife, Ida Engvoll (The Bridge (TV), For Better And Worse), he is head over heels in love and his life becomes hers. So, you can image his loss when she passes.
Based on the novel by Fredrik Backman, writer and director Hannes Holm (Behind Blue Skies, Every Other Week), has managed the unique.
The film is wonderfully funny at the start as we learn about Ove, his life now and his life in the past. He grumps his way through things with a practicality and preciseness that’s bordering on obsessive.
Lassgard is wonderful as Ove, exasperated at every turn when all he’s trying to do is be with his wife. He sees all these interruptions as a nuisance, stopping him achieving what he wants, though eventually he begins to come round.
That the story can be both hilariously funny and yet so powerful, so moving and poignant is a testament to the source material and the screenplay by Holm.
As Ove is pushed into helping his neighbour Pars, she doesn’t give him much choice most of the time, he softens and becomes part of the family.
As for the DVD you get some nice extras: a time lapse of Lassgard in makeup to be made into Ove, a trailer, a Q&A session recorded live and some thoughts on how we’re all a little bit Ove.
I would say that the colours seemed a little on the light side, a tad washed out, I’m not sure if this is intentional or otherwise. It doesn’t detract from the movie in the slightest though.
A Man Called Ove is a wonderful piece of cinema, a fabulous turn from Lassgard and brilliantly written. It’s a triumph of cinema.