With his wife, Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks watches a Swedish film focusing on community life, empathy and coexisting difficulties. He quickly determined that the United States would benefit from a similar film, and soon after produced “A Man Called Otto”.
Everyone annoys Otto. His neighbors, old friends, and even the parcel courier are all out to destroy his narrow-minded set of rules and regulations.
Emerging only to air his petty grievances and enter into unnecessary arguments with those in his immediate environment, Otto has largely withdrawn from the community.
Tom Hanks is “A Man Called Otto”, a comedy that will be released in cinemas internationally in early 2023.
In his latest film, the American actor and producer is inspired by Swedish author Fredrik Backman’s bestseller “A Man Called Ove” (2012). Three years later there was a Swedish film adaptation by Hannes Holm.
“We were watching it together,” Hanks told Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa), recalling seeing the Swedish adaptation with his wife, actress Rita Wilson. movie that should be shooting in America right now.
Soon David Magee (“Life of Pi”) was adapting the screenplay, and later German-Swiss director Marc Forster (“Quantum of Solace”) was brought in.
The story is about a generic North American neighborhood on the outskirts of an unnamed town. It’s about neighbours, newcomers and our relationships with those around us.
Otto tries to keep the world in order, sometimes cynically, often aggressively, constantly annoyed, and even in the face of kindness and empathy from his fellow human beings.
Next comes the bubbly Marisol (Mariana Trevino), who arrives with her family in Otto’s world and quickly turns him upside down. Suddenly, Otto finds himself babysitting against his will and is faced with an overall good choice of neighborhood. Even a stray cat imposes itself in his life.
But this movie differs because the plot doesn’t sit well with a comic portrayal of a stubborn old man forced to revert to good old family values by circumstances.
Otto suffers. A lot.
With the death of his beloved wife, joy has all but vanished from his life, and we learn about it in flashbacks. Otto visits the grave frequently and takes time to remember and explain what is going on in his life.
When he needs help, his new neighbor Marisol reminds him that, contrary to Otto’s beliefs, no one can do everything on their own.
Hanks himself sees this as a vital message tied to Marisol’s attitude. “You certainly have a right to that privacy mark,” Hanks says.
“But if you don’t open your life to the influences, experiences and even inspirations that you’re going to receive from someone else, your life will be tiny. And I think living a small life is sad.”
Many older people make the mistake of thinking that less is more, Hanks says of his character.
“And eventually you start living a kind of minimal life where your life is shrinking.”
With this film, the actor wants to draw a line under the merits of living together. “Community spirit is the difference between happiness and loneliness.”