Ove (Rolf Lassgård) is driven by reliable routine. He wakes each morning to patrol the perimeter of his small gated community where everything must be perfectly in its place. Only idiots would accept a world without such regimented structure. As far as he’s observed, the world is overwhelmingly populated by idiots — a fact that he’s more than happy to impart on each and every one of them.
One of the few exceptions is Ove’s recently deceased wife. She was certainly no idiot and was one of the rare pleasures in his otherwise mundane life. Her passing left Ove essentially walking the same treadmill day after day with no one to break the monotony. It’s an existence that he no longer sees much point in pursuing and wishes only to join his wife in the afterlife. However, fate seems hell-bent on distracting him. Each new day brings another unexpected task that he’s compelled to resolve. If he’s not careful, he just might find a purpose in it all.
Some films remind you of a long forgotten moment from your distant past. Some films remind you of the value of your friends or family. Others remind you of the splendor of a fresh new dawn. This is a film that reminded me of why I love life itself. It’s a beautiful journey inside the mind of a man to discover meaning that every one of us can appreciate and benefit from. This is a pure work of honest, heartfelt artistry. It’s the kind of film that not only makes a mark, but also does so emphatically.
It feels at times like a live-action update to Pixar’s most poignant film Up. The plot is deceptively simple and, at the same time, powerfully profound. It unfolds in both flashback and current-day sequences brimming with sharp, witty dialogue that fills us with curiosity, empathy and much awkward laughter.
Lassgård presents the audience with a vibrant character with whom we can all connect. Most of us have experienced a neighbor or family member with a similarly challenging personality. He’s the kind of person whom we generally despise from a distance until, perhaps, we take the chance to really get to know them. Take the chance. Reach out. Get to know this curmudgeonly character. You’ll find a depth to your own heart that you didn’t know existed.