Ingeborg is a small-town piano teacher who raises her foster daughter, Nelly, into young adulthood. When Nelly is eighteen, she is shocked by the arrival of Jenny, her mother, whom she calls "Auntie." Jenny wants to take her to the big city and teach her to be a beautician in her salon. This is devastating news for Ingeborg, who is ill and does not expect to live long. Ulf, the stolid 30ish man in love with Nelly, begs her to stay; but she is not in love with him, considering him much too old. Instead, she is attracted to Jack, a new arrival in town. She doesn't guess that this strange young man with the striped suit and dashing mustache is her mother's lover as well.Written by
Ingmar Bergman started off his productive career as film director with 'Kris', a fine little gem. As the comments on this film are rather mixed, let me explain how I came to like it.
Having seen already a few Bergman films, I decided to do a retrospective of his work as a film director. I gathered as many of his films as possible, and started now watching them in chronological order. This allows the viewer to observe the evolution in a director's style.
While being familiar with films such as 'The Magician' and 'Jungfrükällan', I picked out 'Kris' for take-off. The first film of a director is usually not the best - keeping this in mind is important when watching it. If you have seen some of the greatest movies of a director, it's unlikely that you will be equally impressed by his debut.
I enjoyed 'Kris' thoroughly because I tend to ignore the occasional mistakes or failures and seek for those indications that show us a (lurking) genius. Watching 'Kris' this way makes it simply joyful, as one can see clearly an upcoming talent. The theatrical dramatization gives us clear hints of Bergman's favorite subjects which he will continue to explore in many of his later movies, such as the doomed destiny of human desire, surrounded by existential pain.
'Kris' is categorized as a drama here on IMDb - the first half is full of cheerful comedy though. Bergman informs his audience about this at the start of the movie, in order to prepare them for what is to follow. That is also the way I recommend you to watch this movie, or as Bergman describes: "This is an everyday play, perhaps even a comedy."
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