Summer With Monika (Sommaren med Monika) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Summer With Monika (Sommaren med Monika) Reviews

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May 12, 2018
Not Ingmar Bergman's strongest entry in his excelling filmography, but his vision towards youth, rebellion, romance and the wrong ideals of love inside ingenuity makes up for its technical issues, such a fast paced editing and story-tones, especially considering the evolution throughout its characters, perfectly balance with Bergman's overly-dramatic and strongly artistic direction, and the introduction of a character way ahead of her time in Harriet Andersson's Monika.
Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
January 21, 2018
One of Ingmar Bergman's earlier efforts, from 1953, about a young couple who quit their jobs and run away on an impulse to spend an idyllic summer in the Stockholm archipelago. Harriet Andersson oozes youth and natural sensuality in the role of the fun-loving Monika, and Lars Ekborg smolders as Harry, the nice guy she beguiles and who always wants to do right by her. Monika is a fascinating character: she is adventurous (telling Harry "let's go away and never come back - we'll see the whole wide world" when she meets him a few minutes into the movie), romantic (crying at the movie theater as he yawns), strong (the child of a father drinks too much, and who has to fend off a guy who gropes and pinches her at her job at the grocery), and aware of her beauty (as was Bergman, her lover in real life, who along the way captures her stretching in shorts that look like a giant diaper by today's standards, frolicking in the buff down to the sea, and splayed out on the top of a motorboat). Ultimately she becomes shrewish and materialistic when the reality of their condition sets in, which makes it easy to condemn her, but in a fantastic scene, Bergman has her stare straight into the camera as brazenly as Manet's Olympia, communicating her frustration, and daring us to judge her.

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.
½ March 4, 2017
One of the earlier breakthrough films of Ingmar Bergman that launched his career to international market.

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.
December 17, 2016
More than 60 years after it was filmed, Harriet Andersson's remarkable performance is still impossibly sultry.
November 2, 2016
This is an excellent film from Ingmar Bergman that follows two young lovers who elope to an Island for a Summer, running away from all their problems with work and family. When she get pregnant, they are forced to return and must "grow-up" quickly and become more mature and responsible, unfortunately they don't see eye to eye on this. The film is well written and feels accurate, and is quite devastating. Not a light easy watch, but definitely worth checking out for Bergman fans!
June 19, 2016
2 young people run away, sort of, and bone a lot (off-camera, if that concerns you), and then we find out that, spoiler alert: Monika is a bad person. Fun. I guess.
April 1, 2016
Teenagers. Need I say more?
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.
½ March 22, 2016
A mature reminiscence at immature love. The pains and aches of a hopeful but doomed summer between two dreamers.
½ December 19, 2015
Showed the harsh reality of the unguided youthful search for identity. Sad, but true.
December 17, 2015
Excellent movie from the cast to the story line. Another Ingmar Bergman great!
October 13, 2015
I do not understand the high appeal of Summer with Monika. It was an interesting film, sure, but it is clear to be that it is a film by a, then, inexperienced, director. In the film Monika and Harry, played by Harriet Andersson and Lars Ekborg, are coming into adulthood and decide to run away rather than in an everyday oppressed life. It is beautifully shot film but I, maybe, missed the point.
½ September 28, 2015
This early film from Ingmar Bergman is stunningly beautiful to look at, with every frame as ripe as young Harriet Andersson, the young star of his troupe who plays Monika. The plot is secondary to the image, focusing on young love and its transience, an old chestnut. But oh those images - even this early on, Bergman knows how to use the light and the sky and the Swedish archipelago to beautiful effect. And Andersson is earthy and seductive and sometimes naked (such that this film made the American grindhouse rounds in a heavily edited version in the '50s). But really things don't work out well for Andersson and her young working class beau (Lars Ekborg) who follow their hearts and not their heads. So, escape with Monika but remember to keep your bearings.
August 30, 2015
I love the way Bergman shoots his movies.
½ August 4, 2015
The direction by Bergman is gr8. But this film was just boringgggg. Very uninteresting.
½ May 23, 2015
Very captivating yet surprisingly tragic, Summer With Monika conjures a range of emotions in its simplistic narrative. It also offered a much larger emotional impact than I expected.
January 12, 2015
Harriet Andersson's beautiful body and her natural eroticism is the only reason to watch Summer with Monika
½ October 2, 2014
Very good depiction of young love (or lust). It felt very alive, and ahead of its time (feels like a French New Wave film). Apparently when it first came out, audiences reacted favorably to Monika's defiance and refusal to "settle down." If that the case, yikes, because she turns out to be an awful person.
½ April 19, 2014
Certainly a very provoking film back then - not so provoking these days. At todays standard some scenes seem funny, like the fighting scenes and the dancing scenes.

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.
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.
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