O’ Horten 2007

O’ Horten is a Norwegian film from 2007, directed by internationally acclaimed film-maker Bent Hamer. The movie’s title character Odd Horten is a habit-bound train driver, who is about to retire. On the day of his retirement he ends up in an unexpected situation, and is forced to reconsider his life. As in other movies by Hamer, the themes are loneliness and old age, and the courage to take chances.

Plot: O’ Horten has been described as a movie without a strong plot or a clear chronology. 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 a timid man – 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.

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