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Review: ‘A Man Called Otto’

On Jan. 13 “A Man Called Otto, based on the book “A Man Called Ove,” was released into theaters.  

The movie stars Tom Hanks, who plays a grouchy, old man who enjoys consistency and hates chaos. Otto is a man of routine who makes rounds in his neighborhood to make sure everything is in order. He believes that he is responsible for the condition of his home and those around him.  

He is a miserable man who thinks that the only person who can help him is himself. He feels isolated and lonely, but when a couple moves into the house in front of him, his life changes. The couple has two children and believes that there is good in this angry man.  

 The start of their relationship begins with Otto showing the husband how to correctly parallel park and the wife’s thanking him by gifting him a traditional Mexican dish. This creates the journey of Otto giving acts of kindness to the family and being repaid in dishes.  

 The film dives into issues of loneliness and the depression that comes with losing a loved one, but also acknowledges how life doesn’t just end after tragedy, but continues on. There are many themes in this movie, but the biggest one. The main theme is that there is always a new day and a new relationship to be formed.  

The film is an artistic masterpiece as it uses reflections in mirrors and blank TV screens to show flashbacks into Otto’s life. This shows how he became the man he is.  

It also uses weather to depict the mood of the characters. It begins in a snowy winter and ends with clear skies and green grass to display a content resolution. 

As the movie progresses it shows Otto becoming a more understanding man and shows broken relationships being mended again. The people who Otto once loathed become the people who then stand behind him.  

I enjoyed the movie;, the ending showed a reality that was unexpected but well prepared, a perfect display of situational irony.  

The movie received a score of 68% on Rotten Tomatoes with a variety of mixed reviews. It could be triggering for some viewers as it deals with suicide and depression, and viewer discretion is advised. 

Written by Jenna Arnold. Photo courtesy of  MGN Online.

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