Tom Hanks is so good as a grouchy, grumpy man called Otto who hates the world, you sit back and enjoy the popcorn. He’s your neighbour who grumbles about everything and likes nothing. In fact he is so angry with the world, that he is going to end his life and join his beloved Sonya who died six months ago.
But the world is so cruel, it won’t let him die in peace. He buys rope and a hook from a store and gets into an argument about the price of the rope the young man at the checkout counter miscalculates. Someone in the queue offers to pay the extra money, but Otto stop the man: It’s not the money, it’s the principle of the thing!
His neighbours are strange and they all want to say hello but Otto’s morning is not good, so he barely acknowledges anyone…
But a cat decides to adopt him. No matter how much Otto tries to shoo it away, the cat does not leave. Just then a family moves next door. Marisol (pregnant with her third child), her husband Tommy (whom Otto finds to be a nitwit) and their two daughters.
Marisol is the yin to Otto’s yang. When she’s not pestering Otto with questions and requests, she is giving him food. She and her husband keep knocking on Otto’s door at the oddest times. It pushes Otto’s plans out of whack. Each time he settles down and is determined to kill himself Marisol interrupts. It becomes a comical tug of war between Otto and Marisol. It’s like an old Ajit joke: Isko liquid oxygen mein daal do. Liquid use jeene nahi degi aur oxygen use marne nahi degi!
I never thought one could laugh at suicide attempts in a movie. But we do and we see Otto slowly change from a grumpy old man to a lovable grandpa to Marisol’s children and a good neighbour to the other folk living in the area.
The one thing that may make the audience restless is the leisurely pace of the film. But Tom Hanks as well as Mariana Trevino (who plays the irrepressible Marisol) make the film a wonderful watch.
MAN CALLED OTTO - Official Trailer