The Old Man Movie Isn’t What You Think in its Message to Drink Milk!

27 Aug

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Playing at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020 On Demand till Sept 2. Buy your virtual ticket here.

The Republic of Estonia is a country not everyone will be aware of, and their animated film The Old Man Movie (Vanamehe Film) shows the wonky genre material their entertainment industry can churn out. Originally a web-series, this pièce de résistance by Mikk Mägi, Oskar Lehemaa and Peeter Ritso is now a movie. It borders on the surreal for humour and embraces Dada to create a lasting imagery which I will never forget.

Narrative-wise, this film is more comedy than horror. Mart (the youngest), Priidik (middle brother) and Aiido (eldest sister) are unceremoniously dropped off at grandpa’s farm for the Summer. They discover that this elder is a few cards short of a full deck and it’s his eccentricity which really sells this movie.

He must milk his cow daily. If he doesn’t, he’ll lose the business he runs since he’s the local milk supplier. As the opening segment reveals, bovines will explode if they are not milked every day! Producing enough milk is important to this country as growing enough potatoes to Ireland; this fact may well lend to why the characters are designed as they are.

Mart takes to the job easily, but his older siblings want nothing of The Simple Life. It’s not long to see them accepting their fate and toiling at the farm, herding sheep and keeping Daisy the cow (not her name in this film) happy. One mistake late one night sets her loose, and the entire family has to find her! Before they can break up into teams, the Old Milker arrives and says these cows don’t deserve to live! We soon learn that he’s the victim from that intro we saw about fifteen minutes ago, and his agenda is to destroy all cows!

Old Man Cartoon Movie (2020) Cultural Hater news

This film is slapstick in its merry chase through the countryside. Not only does the cow have to dodge her way out of traps, the folks she meets shows that she can be respected. Hippies treat her like a mother goddess type figure, and this detail may well be historically accurate.

Another look into this world also includes how working hard for your money is important. It’s seen in grandpa’s attitude in keeping the milk farm going. The kids don’t quite get it, but the out of work loggers do–despite accepting the Old Milker’s request to slaughter a certain cow.

The family knows that as long as they treat Daisy right, she’ll give them what they need to have that modern life. It’s a smartly worked concept which made me find this movie rather exceptional. This movie is not a children’s film. It’s made for Estonians to see (and elsewhere) to recognize national pride.

5 Stars out of 5

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