Cries and Whispers Reviews
Bergman's usual focus on the mental processes of his characters is here, but with an added emphasis on the physical nature of intimacy, light touches and unspoken words communicating the desperate longing for emotional availability the sisters feel towards each other. This period of existential openness doesn't last long, however, as they retreat into the cold, safe isolation of their own minds, shrouding their conversations in reactionary social cues after time separates them from their experience with death.
Setting all of this against the constant presence of ticking clocks, Bergman suggests that we ultimately know nothing about anyone around us and never really will as we slowly inch towards the grave; as depressing as this is, there's no denying the intelligence with which it's communicated, the experience primarily dealing with the inevitability of isolation made riveting through the use of color, the deeply layered performances, and the affecting filmmaking that imparts this dour message. It may honestly be impossible to love those around us given the nature of the individual, but complete emotional openness is surely the only way we could ever begin to do so. Cries and Whispers is a desperate plea for this openness, lest we end up like the sisters it documents.