Movie Review: A Man Called Ove
By Maria Lubanovic, Contributor
[Tre Vänner Produktion AB; 2016]
Based on the bestselling book by the same name, A Man Called Ove follows the life of 59-year-old retiree Ove, who has lost both his job, his love, and his will to live. He spends his days surveying the block, forcing people to follow the rules, visiting his wife’s grave and trying to push everyone away so that he can finally join his wife. Read that as you will. Suddenly, when new neighbors move in, they change his world and we find out more and more of Ove’s past.
The story telling of this film is beautiful, and even though the entire film is in Swedish, the plot is tender and easy to follow. However, if reading subtitles is too difficult for you, or not hearing English throws you off, this film won't be for you. That said, the dialogue is witty and interesting and the delivery almost makes you forget that it isn’t in English. The film acts as both a drama and a dark comedy, and the writing is consistently good throughout the film, especially at the end.
The music in the film is just enough; it carries a somber feeling while also being soft and tangible. It matches the muted feeling of the film, and keeps just as much weight in the silence as it carries in more vibrant parts of the film, especially in the flashback scenes. The overall production matches the musical feel, with grey and muted tones when the focus is on Ove, and brighter, more vibrant colors during the flashback scenes. There are just enough moments of silence to contemplate what is going on, and it gives you enough time to understand how sorrowful Ove’s life is and how it has changed.
A Man Called Ove is definitely worth seeing. The actors are great, the story is strong and the music and production are very well done. Just don’t let the subtitles deter you from seeing such a stunning film.