It’s depressing and generally disturbing undertow is too strong for its own good
A Man Called Ove relies on it’s deep and harrowing irony to initiate it’s message. The issue is that the irony isn’t funny enough, and there’s a very dark imprint burned across the face of the film. The constant return to the dark moments almost sets the film back completely. Any momentum built by characters and relationships is undercut by the emotional turmoil.
It’s potentially an issue with the structure, but the films sharp and versatile dialogue allows for this to be improved somewhat. Essentially, suicide isn’t funny however ironic it is.
The story follows Ove (Rolf Lassgard) a widower focused on making his community perfect. Known for his strict nature and harsh personality, Ove constantly tries to distance himself from the rest of the community. When a new family moves in across the street however, Ove has no choice but to interact with their business prying on his quaint and idyllic village life.
Rolf Lassgard’s central performance is impeccably precise. Despite showing his character’s emotional changes accurately, he understands the subtlety of what Ove is going through. Actors often take a story such as this too far, making it overly revelatory, but Lassgard keeps Ove’s nature core throughout, and that leaves for a very real and human performance about the struggles of aging.
A Man Called Ove isn’t funny enough to make it profound in the way it should be. It’s depressing and generally disturbing undertow is too strong for its own good, and despite a strong script and a marvelous central performance, there is very little to be taken away from the film except sadness.