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.
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Marianne and Johan meet again after thirty years without contact, when Marianne suddenly feels a need to see her ex-husband again. She decides to visit Johan at his old summer house in the western province of Dalarna. And so, one beautiful autumn day, there she is, beside his reclining chair, waking him with a light kiss. Staying at a cottage on the property are Johan's son Henrik and Henrik's daughter Karin. Henrik is giving his daughter cello lessons and already sees her future as staked out. Relations between father and son are very strained, but both are protective of Karin. They are all still mourning Anna, Henrik's much-loved wife, who died two years ago, yet who, in many ways, remains present among them. Marianne soon realizes that things are not all as they should be, and she finds herself unwillingly drawn into a complicated and upsetting power struggle.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Interviewed in Swedish TV, Ingmar Bergman said that this was his last work. See more »
There are some interesting discrepancies in relation to the time line of the characters. The ages given for the characters are 63 (Marianne), 86 (Johan) and 61 (Henrik). Marianne says that she has not seen Johan for 32 years and that they had been married for 16 years. This means that she married Johan when she was 15 and he was 38. Johan had a falling out with his son when Henrik was 18/19, which must have been after Johan's marriage to Marianne. See more »
Ingmar Bergman goes on trying to find the meaning of life and the world and what means sentiment after all. Do we love when we think we hate? What's going on in the deepness of human soul? What justifies our actions? Which truth commands human relations mainly family and marital ones? This quest is pursued by formal means and themes different of those used in some of his previous movies such as The Seventh Seal or Persona but the same interrogation is always there. A sexagenarian lady decides to pay a visit to her ex-husband whom she had not seen for more than 30 years. She will be then the spectator of a series of events involving his ex-husband, his son of a previous marriage and the latter's young daughter in a tempest of violent feelings and psychological outbursts against which her serenity and wisdom make an interesting counterpoint. There is also another character whose presence is overwhelming despite the fact that she is already dead when the movie begins: Anna the former wife of the ex-husband's son. She still lives in the heart and of the two men and the young girl with her words and deeds. The love-hate relationship between father and son and father and daughter is very intense. The scene where the character played by Erland Josephson yields one night to anguish and anxiety and seeks refuge in her ex-wife's bed ( without any sex being involved) is extremely moving. We are indeed in the presence of a masterpiece.
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