Pelle the Conqueror (Pelle Erobreren) Reviews
Life on the farm is defined by the land, the seasons, and the personalities of the people who live there. The owners, the Kongstrups, only sporadically appear. They live in a big manor house far removed, angled at a position of power from the barns, stables and farm buildings, and Mrs. Kongstrup spends her agonizing days drinking while her despicably proud husband chases tail, with no shame, not even about the one hapless wench who appears at his front door time and again with their illegitimate child. In the laborers' quarters, life is the bullying of the manager, who ascertains weaknesses in his farm hands and feels only inclined to exploit them. Modeling himself after him is the insecure trainee, a bully compensating atop his high horse who feels particularly fulfilled in tormenting Pelle.
Pelle is played by an impressive young boy, but the film's real star is Max von Sydow, that masculine brick house of vitality and frankness, who rivals Brando in the natural practice of never resonating a trace of visible acting, of not appearing to be, not acting, but being absolute and guileless even in complex and heavy-handed scenes. Von Sydow's work in the film has been honored with an Academy Award nomination for best actor, well deserved, particularly after a distinguished career in which he stood at the center of many of Ingmar Bergman's greatest films. But there is not a bad performance in the movie, and the young actor, Pelle Hvenegaard, is quite convincing, having been literally born to play this part, as in real life he was named after the character in the original novel. When another actor calls to you while the cameras are rolling, and your real name is not your character's, that is a basic and obvious psychological obstacle. When that actor calls your real name in the same circumstance, it is a gift.
The film is an absorbing entertainment because it is a richness of events. There are scenes of punishingly taxing toil in the fields and the stables, under the eye of the Manager. Invigorating friction between the Manager and a defiantly free-spirited worker. The chicanery in the mansion, where Mrs. Kongstrup wrests a distinctly caustic revenge on her psychologically abusive philanderer of a husband. The heartbreak of a farm worker, who has fallen in love above her class. Most of all, for me, there are so many great movies that give us heart-swelling mother-child relationships, and here is a tear-gushing father-child one.
i never was a fan of this film...
but its not a bad one!
Ahora no la vería nunca mas.
Pero aparte de una de las historias mas tristes que vi ,es una pelicula excelente