The Old Man Movie: Lactopalypse (15) |Close-Up Film Review

Dir. Oskar Lehemaa and Mikk Mägi, Estonia, 2019, 88 mins, in Estonian with subtitles

Voice Cast:  Mikk Mägi, Jan Uuspõld, Märt Avandi

Review by Carol Allen

Estonia is another country – they do things differently there.   Particularly, it would appear from this, when it comes to stop go animation, a technique which we associate with family films and companies like Aardman.  

I’m not sure at what audience this crude Eastern European oddity is targeted but I wouldn’t advise taking the kids.  Though you can’t anyway.   It’s been appropriately certificated as 15.  The characters are without exception the ugliest puppets I have ever seen, with faces like squashed potatoes, most of them are very unpleasant and while there’s no sex, the storyline is frankly gross and the action unpleasantly cruel and violent in places.

Three really ugly city kids are dumped on their grumpy and narrow minded grandfather (Mikk Mägi) who lives in the country and makes his living supplying milk to the locals from his one overworked and very abused cow (Märt Avandi).   When the cow escapes (and I don’t blame her) Grandad and two of the kids set off in pursuit, leaving the inventive youngest to create mayhem in the barn for later in the film. 

Also in pursuit is an ancient former dairy farmer (Jan Uuspõld),whose solitary cow also escaped many years ago.  While on the run her now unmilked udder exploded, smothering the country in a lactopalypose of milk.  A little black and white animation of this event at the beginning of the film is one of the most interesting things in it, as it has the feeling of a Soviet propaganda piece.

The ancient milkperson wants to behead grandad’s cow before there’s another lactopalypse.  Grandad and the boys however want to save her but for purely selfish reasons.  In the course of the chase the trio encounter the smallest hippie pop fest that’s ever been seen and find themselves trapped in the anus of a giant bear in the company of an assortment of animals and an ageing rock singer whose heyday was the nineties.  Just guess how they get out.   Ugh!

Maybe there’s a political message buried in this from a society, which was once under the heel of the former Soviet Union but if so, I didn’t get it.  The only sympathetic character in the whole movie is the poor, put upon cow.  I’m with her all the way.  Go girl, go!