O’Horten (Bent Hamer,2007)Norway,Germany,France

Reviewed by Joel Pedersen. Viewed at Santa Barbara Film Festival.

I always tell my brother that if i get past a certain age that assisted suicide is the way to go. I have always assumed that this vicious cycle called life can only be enjoyable for so long. That after your prime  life just goes farther and farther down hill and that sooner or later your adventure and excitment come to a close.  Lets say you finally do just settle down, have kids, have a average job, then retire from that disappointment of a career. Is there really anything left? O’Horten is a film that follows the travel of a retired engineer. It just so turns out that the retired life seems to be filled with more adventure and potential then my life currently.

The mans name is Odd, Odd Horten. With a personal agenda of filling his coffee thermos in the morning, then lighting his pipe before he starts the train. The movie does not appear that its going to go anywhere. Confused about what to do after the required retirement age of 67, which he appears as if he has passed some time ago, he is in a very troublesome predicament. Visits to his mother, who shows no emotion, are frequent. She was a ski jumper and very physically active in her youth. Where as her son Odd was not. She could not but help be somewhat disappointed. While traveling with his posse of engineers Odd goes of to buy some matches. On his return though he finds that he is locked out and has noway back in except to sneak through an open window. When spotted by a troublesome kid who wants him to wait until he falls asleep. Odd cant help but doze off himself. After not being to catch up to his group of fellow engineers. He misses what should have been his train ride home and seems to be completely stranded. 

Going on what seems like a new adventure everyday. Odd meets some of the most colorful people I’ve ever seen. With new friends that pitch lines like “alcohol keeps me sober” and ” the smell of wiper fluid has always turned me on.”  It is no wonder that we as the audience can’t help but feel like their our friends to. The film seems like it is meant for that of an older crowd. But really the films humor and Odd himself are something that all ages can truly admire and adore.

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