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Summer With Monika (Sommaren med Monika) Reviews

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sanjurosamurai
sanjurosamurai

Super Reviewer

July 6, 2013
a devastating film. the film is so successfully about so many things; youth, growing up too quickly, not growing up quickly enough, escape, isolation, loneliness, adventure, hope, failure, the mundane, love, responsibility. The themes each hit like a ton of bricks, throwing the viewer for one loop after another. seldom do i go from rooting so much for a character to so little within one film as i did monika, and harry was so effective as the long suffering hero/victim of the story. at the same time, the movie dares you to judge monika, and if you choose to, you at least need to know why. the locations and cinematography were stunning. a wonderful film.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

May 7, 2013
A chronological retrospective of the work of the late Ingmar Bergman is likely to prove frustrating to begin with, as, of all great artists, he was the classic example of the slow developer. The main interest in re-viewing his early works is in detecting indications of themes that he would develop in the films of his maturity. From the very earliest, "Crisis" (1945), there is little doubt as to his technical skill. He knew exactly where the camera should be placed to maximise the dramatic implications of character and plot, but there were few indications of anything much above average talent. In many ways the two films directed by his mentors, Sjoberg ("Torment") and Mollander ("Eva") to Bergman scripts hang together with greater assurance. Bergman's own films of the 40's and very early 50's are generally discursive and lacking in dramatic concentration. There is some pleasing neo-realist dockland location work in "Port Of Call" (1948) but this appendage decorates rather than deepens a rather dreary little tale of a woman driven by sad circumstances to attempt suicide. "Three Strange Loves" (1949) in a narrative muddle and although he sorted out the portmanteau structure more clearly in "Waiting Women" (1950), only the third tale, that of the married couple trapped all night in a lift, shakes off the yawns of the earlier two by virtue of being the first indication of that oft neglected side of Bergam's talent, his gift for the comic. However this is the perhaps the least important indication of what was to come. In "To Joy" (1950) there is a moment where he defines joy not as happiness but as elation by filming a performance of Beethoven's 9th symphony to powerful effect. Although he comes to a rather different conclusion in the final moments of "Cries and Whispers" (1972), this is a telling pre-echo. The other great moment in these early films occurs in "Summer Interlude" (1950) when the ballerina suffering the loss of her loved one rails against God with much the same ferocity that gives many of the later works their power. But in spite of the deeper issues dealt with in "To Joy" and "Summer Interlude", it is "Summer With Monika" (1952) that must lay claim to being Bergman's first fully realised work. It is a simple story of boy meets girl, both of them in dead-end jobs, he a stacker and delivery boy for a porcelain firm, she a greengrocer's assistant. From the moment of their first meeting in a café where she asks for a light we have that uncomfortable feeling that this is a relationship that is not going to work, he an innocent and she a streetwise pleasure seeker. Both have the need to escape from everyday frustrations and he has the means in the shape of his sick father's boat. For "road movie" therefore read "water movie" although in this case the journey taken offers little chance of escape and can only end in disillusion brought on by hunger, pregnancy and the realisation that neither party can deliver what the other needs, in her case hedonistic pleasure and in his the satisfaction of a loving relationship. In this perfectly formed three-act tragedy the summer escape by boat and return take up the central and longest part. The shorter outer sections chart firstly the couple's initial encounters and lastly the consequencies of being trapped in a dead-end marriage. The journey starts and ends in a studio built street. Possibly it is being simplistic to suggests that Bergman used a a theatrical set deliberately to express entrapment to contrast with freedom of escape - largely location shot - but it certainly achieves this effect. Although there are several minor figures they are without exception central to the development of the central situation rather than extraneous clutter as is so often found in early Bergman. Even the three silent but violent appearances of the shady Lelle are used used to disturb any emotional equilibrium we may have been experiencing just beforehand. This simple tale works through the wonderful acting of the two main protagonists and the assured command of its circular architecture. In a sense is it a minor work but, as the most completely realised harbinger of Bergman's great period, it occupies a very special place.
Luke B

Super Reviewer

May 7, 2013
It's Not So Badlands, as two lovers go on the run, or the river to be more precise for some summer lovin'. It's realistic and comments stupendously on society and is still relevant today. If you thought Juno was real word on teenage pregnancy check again. It's a genuinely affective romance, though hard to decipher if Monika is a total bitch or simply childish and naive. It certainly highlights the responsibilities that need to be taken and shows for once the man being the outstanding role model the child can look up to. An unplanned partner in crime to the recent Sherrybaby. It becomes slightly melodramatic towards the end but Bergman's pacing and visuals keep it together.
Eric B

Super Reviewer

May 7, 2013
Starts off charming, but the couple's naivete and youthful mood swings eventually turn a bit irritating. Lovely views of small-town Sweden, though.
Chris B

Super Reviewer

May 7, 2013
Dealing with many themes closely related to his previous film "Summer Interlude" and taking place during Summer as well, "Summer with Monika" has a drastically different feel and ending to it. Sharply written, wonderfully acted and featuring beautiful shots throughout the entirety of the film all add up to a cohesive and poignant work of art! We follow a girl named Monika and her summer spent with a man named Harry escaping the adult world filled with responsibilities and hardships for a relaxing escape into their own world with one another. As the summer comes to an end however, things start to come back into perspective and the happiness abruptly ends and Monika who has grown bored eventually finds someone else. Harry takes their child out of the filth and uncaring ways of Monika in order to have a better life for the child's sake as Monika lives on in her empathy and lack of willingness to try or for that matter even care. This is a simple film that remains incredibly powerful to this day and is yet again another stunning film in Bergman's impeccable canon!
Daniel D

Super Reviewer

October 29, 2012
Ingmar Bergmans early but still mature film focuses on young love, and heartbreak, that's still relevant today. Lars Ekborg was extremely impressive for a young actor. Many (not including myself) find it hard to feel acting of foreign cinema, if this performance doesn't convince you it can be great, than you're trying not to like it. There were bland sequences here, and it didn't have a full Bergman spunk. That being said its still a hefty romance that can be enjoyed sixty years later.
jimbotender
jimbotender

Super Reviewer

May 7, 2013
Liberating thoughts circling the masculine minds..so what happens when the female responds in equal tension and..bewilderment?crafting detail of the sunlight and perhaps a lighter work for Bergman excluding the last quarter.
littlecharmer1959
littlecharmer1959

Super Reviewer

May 7, 2013
A simple tale of young love. Not a masterpiece like Bergman's later works but still a brilliant piece of cinema.
Anthony V

Super Reviewer

May 7, 2013
Great early Bergman.
May 7, 2013
Harriet Andersson was fucking hot. Bergman was too, cinematically speaking, at this time. An early classic
May 7, 2013
On the verge of being sublime. The photography certainly is, but the story lags and the actors are helpless.
K. Davis
February 19, 2014
Remarkable and emotionally crushing, "Summer With Monika" is a beautifully captured moment in time that is made immediately relatable due to a convincing cast and a director starting his climb to the creation of some of the most memorable movies in cinematic history.
February 17, 2014
I come to Bergman via Woody Allen and this is my first toe in the water. The storyline is one that was often copied in other films from that era but the visuals are spectacular. A breathtaking film in places.
November 22, 2013
Another great film begs watching repeatedly. Cinematic loveliness.
May 22, 2013
I like Bergman before he got ponderous. An excellent film.
December 2, 2012
A truly saddening exercise in Bergman's Oeuvre, Summer With Monika is a slice of life that examines two lovers who spend a summer together under the pressure of real life crashing down on their honeymoon-esque love.
May 7, 2013
A cada filme de Bergman que vejo fica mais forte a ideia de que ele se tornou o meu diretor preferido de todos os tempos.
May 7, 2013
Monika; pero que zorra!
Alex Elms
May 7, 2013
A really really touching piece of drama, a film which has true emotions and realistic depictions of romances.

A very beautifully shot film, and has got me really interested in seeing more Bergman films as this film really got me going for this style of drama films.

The films also very ahead of its time, considering it was released over 50 years its very open about sex, pregnancy and relationships, and now it feels refreshing to watch considering how badly relationships are shown in romantic films nowadays, its shame weve taken such a step backwards.
andres74varela
May 7, 2013
Me impresiona saber que en 1953 los suecos ya estaban haciendo esta clase de cine que en mi pais pudo ser considerado como porno puro en esa decada (y en la dos siguientes).
La pelicula es muy buena, va de la historia de dos "ninios" que se enamoran en verano y se escapan para vivir su romance, resultado de esto queda un bebe que los lleva a un matrimonio.
Este tipo de historias lo vemos hoy en dia en todo lado pero la forma en que lo plasmo Bergman es especial por el personaje de Monika que le da vida a la historia.
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