Review: A Man Called Ove
Blu-ray & DVD: A Man Called Ove (2015)
Widower Ove Lindahl (Rolf Larsgård) lives in a gated community in Sweden, and it appears his sole purpose in life is to make the residents adhere to the rules of the community by being a grumpy sod, by shouting at everyone (including small dogs), extreme rudeness and being the most impossibly unbending or empathic man ever.
However, this may not be entirely the case as we look at Ove’s life in flashback and see him being formed into the man he is by circumstance and life itself. He is in fact a very complicated man, who is more than the sum of his parts.
A Man Called Ove is a popular book, though I admit I’d never heard of it until the film, so his story is familiar with a lot of people and well-loved already. In a time when Toni Erdmann is taking all the foreign film plaudits, I hope this love story/tale of a grumpy man doesn’t get too overshadowed by Erdmann, as Ove is by far a more satisfying, emotional, FUNNY, accomplished and enjoyable film.
Ove is played with unyielding flinty boorishness by Swedish legend Lassgård and through flashbacks we see the very young Ove, his relationship with his beloved father, his mother’s loss, and later how he meets the love of his life Sonja, and how with her care he blooms.
In the present, Ove appears to melt (a little) on meeting new pregnant neighbour Parvaneh (Bahar Pars), her Swedish husband and their two children, who move into the house across the street. Through Parvaneh’s ‘no nonsense’ approach she wears down Ove’s stubborness and the story that unfolds shows us that Ove isn’t as bad as we think he is.
Now this film may sound somewhat hard work, and almost like a mixture of Disney’s Up and Alexander Payne’s About Schmidt and it does have a few comparisons, but what raises it above the likes of these films and the aforementioned Toni Erdmann is its humour and palpable love.
I didn’t laugh at loud once during Erdmann, yet laughed a lot with Ove. Mainly because he is so annoying, yet his heart is in the right place, his various suicide attempts being hilarious due to his exasperation at being constantly interrupted. His hatred of small dogs and despair over children hugging him. Special Kudos to Bahar Pars who as Parvaneh barks at Ove and shatters his hard shell.
A genuinely lovely and entertaining film that really is a LOT better than Toni Erdmann, another great release from Thunderbird Releasing!
A Man Called Ove is released on 16th October 2017 and you can buy it by clicking HERE. ALL money raised by purchasing from Amazon via our website is given back to our listeners and followers in upcoming competition prizes. The more people buy, the bigger our prizes!
Addendum: You can hear my thoughts on A Man Called Ove in our latest Entertainment Show, where I describe it as not only one of my top 10 movies of the year so far, but also going into my top 10 movies EVER! A truly wonderful movie that elicts tears and laughter, while leaving you taking a closer look at life as the closing credits roll. (Dave; host of 60 Minutes With)