Summer With Monika (Sommaren med Monika) Reviews
This is a sensationally realistic coming of age tale about a young couple just before their tweens who take a summer holiday and sparks truly fly. Including a tame by today's standards but shocking in its day nude scene.
The final act of the film is not as light hearted. I found the film quite immersing & interesting. Really showcases the talent of Bergman & the incredible young actress who plays Monika.
The film was controversial in its day for its nudity (which drew a young Woody Allen to see it), but it's got so much more than that. There is coming-of-age passion, starting with early scenes with Monika, lips parted, waiting for her lover's kiss, and building later to a wonderful moment when the couple overlook a vista and he says "We've rebelled, Monika, against all of them". There are great moments told in the eyes of Lars Ekborg, beautiful scenes utilizing reflections in the water, a romantic shot of them dancing alone on a pier (ah, youth!), and one of Monika disappearing into swaying grasses while eluding a family whose food she stole. The city of Stockholm and the natural beauty of Sweden are highlighted, and all of it makes it easy to see Bergman's talent as an emerging master filmmaker. His characters are real and nuanced, and this is far from a sentimental film, the 'summer with Monika' haunting Harry forevermore. A captivating film which certainly stands the test of time, and so good I watched it twice.
While the visual, black and white style of Bergman is still entertaining to watch, this film's plot plays out just like an after-school special. If anything, perhaps this is required watching for young people in that "infatuation" stage of their life. Sure, the first half of the film looks like it's all fun and games, but once responsibilities start setting in, adulthood quickly takes away everything and forces a life of hardship upon the unprepared.
Stunning images, naturally - it looks lovely in black and white.
like a mild "Bonnie & Clyde" in a way, it develops into something like that story, but then it disappear from that path after a while.
Quite sad and subtle film, with lots of depth and complexity - still, pretty straight forward when presented. Bergmans least poetic film and maybe his most naturalistic one that I have seen so far.
7 out of 10 matches.