O Horten

  • Directors: Bent Hamer
  • Producers: Bent Hamer
  • Writers: Bent Hamer
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Henny Moan

O’ Horten has been described as a movie without a strong plot or a clear chronology.[2][3] The main character, Odd Horten, is an overly cautious 67-year-old man, about to retire after forty years as a train driver on Bergensbanen (the route between Oslo and Bergen). As the movie begins, we see him get up in the morning and go through a meticulous daily routine, as he prepares for his penultimate day of work. Later that evening, his colleagues throw him a farewell-party, but Odd â€“ a timid man â€“ is uncomfortable with the attention. After the party he ends up getting locked out of a friend’s apartment. He climbs up a scaffold, and ends up in a young boy’s room. The boy asks him to stay and wait for him to fall asleep, Odd falls asleep against the bedpost, and sleeps in the next morning. For the first time in his career, he then arrives too late for work, and the train has to leave without him. He is now left on the platform without any fixed points in his life, with nothing but a life of emptiness stretching out before him.

A number of scenes then follow whose exact sequence is unclear. Odd goes to visit his mother at the retirement home, something that makes him only more unhappy. His mother is senile and spends her days staring emptily out the window, and the visit reminds him of his own impending old age. He goes to the local swimming pool, but forgets his shoes as he is leaving. Instead he finds a pair of red high-heeled boots, and walks away in these. At the shop where he normally buys his tobacco, his friend Mrs Thogersen tells him that the owner has passed away. By chance he then runs into the coeval, but far more spontaneous Dr. Sissener, who has fallen asleep on the pavement, in the snow. The two spend the evening in conversation over a few drinks at Dr. Sissener’s house, and Odd is led to certain realisations about his own life. It emerges that his mother â€“ a free-spirited woman â€“ was a ski jumper, but Odd himself never had the courage to try the sport. He now feels as if he has let her down, by never having the courage to seize the day and try new things.

In the early morning Dr. Sissener suggests the two go driving blind-folded. The stunt goes surprisingly well, but as Dr. Sissener pulls over the car, he dies. Odd is now left with responsibility for the doctor’s dog, and with an urgency to live life to the fullest. As the movie ends he makes his way up to Holmenkollen ski jump, where he sees a vision of his mother a young girl. He makes a decision to try what he always wanted to do, and as the movie ends he is seen setting off from the top of the ski jump.

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