Marianne, some thirty years after divorcing Johan, decides to visit her ex-husband at his summer home. She arrives in the middle of a family drama between Johan's son from another marriage and his granddaughter.
After 15 years of marriage, David and Marianne have grown apart. David has had an affair with a patient of his and Marianne has got herself involved with her former lover Carl-Adam, who's ... See full summary »
Rakel, Marta, Karin and Annette are married to four brothers. While waiting in a summer cottage for their husbands to come home, they tell each other stories about their marriages. Rakel ... See full summary »
While waiting for the night rehearsal of the ballet Swan Lake, the lonely twenty-eight year-old ballerina Marie receives a diary through the mail. She travels by ferry to an island nearby ... See full summary »
Although the plot of this film is rather simple - a man reflecting on the good and bad times that he had with his wife - it is handled well by Bergman, who gives the film an interesting audio and visual side, including creative editing changes, and at least one meaningful aerial shot early on the piece. The protagonist and his wife are concert musicians, and in the first few scenes, and in some later on, non-original music is used superbly to coincide with the action on screen. There are however a few concerts scenes that may have been better had they been trimmed in length, as seeing a whole concert performed is not necessary in the story. Although the film is mostly a series of memories, there is also one is ill-judged point in which a character other than the protagonist starts to narrate events, which is not possible in the way the story is told. Also, there is room to complain about the film being a bit too literal, but there is hardly reason to concentrate on the drawbacks of the film when it is such a delight to watch, and so well done where it is well done. Victor Sjöström, as the maestro, delivers fine support, and the film is an excellent example of great visual storytelling. In the years after this, Bergman would go on to direct more complex films that would require more skill on his behalf, but this early entry still stands up fairly well, even if not up to the standard of some of his latter work. The final sequence is especially well done, both in how it uses music, and in the contrast that it has to the first scene in which the man's son is seen.
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