Sommarlek (Summerplay) (Illicit Interlude) (Summer Interlude) Reviews
The film is slightly differentiated from Bergman's usual philosophy-heavy, mentally-straining members of his reservoir, a summer vacation in a Scandinavian island, with youth in bathing suits, is a curio to find out. But the die-hard Bergman fans will as always revel in the solemn nuances and formidable expressions from Maj-Britt Nilsson's heroine, whose god-spitting manifesto "I'll hate him till the day I die!"defies any compromise and detour, which could also be Bergman's mouthpiece speaking.
There are many aesthetically haunting shots with utterly perfect structural deployment (which cannot be a surprise since this is the sixth Bergman's film I have watched so far), a witchcraft of radiating the characters' frank and inherent emotion and sixth senses through Black & White lens, the portrait close-ups, the little cartoon on the letter, even the ballet tableaux, all sparkle with resilience of a human soul's elusive fickleness. The wild strawberry, chess playing with the clergyman and the hag with mustache, there are many anecdotes here just for perusing.
Ms. Nilsson captures all the spotlight in the film, although she and Birger Malmsten are quite awkward in pulling off mid-or-late teens in love since wrinkles and creases cannot lie, but it is almost a mission-impossible for any actress since spanning 13 years especially from teenage to adulthood is a great challenge, nevertheless, this blemish can not overthrow the film's majestic study on a psychological case of a lost love soul's selective protection and rejuvenation, although may not be Bergman's best, still a recommendable film from the maestro and furthermore attests his consistency in filmic supremacy.
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Starring Maj-Britt Nilsson, Birger Malmsten
A ballerina recalls her tragic love affair during one summer. Nilsson is Marie, 13 years after the death of her lover Henrik played by Malmsten, she's still unable to overcome the loss. Only when she makes a trip to her summer house near the sea where she spent time with Henrik is she able to accept the past. Bergman tells a quiet love story with clear portraits of the individuals. This is not his best film however, but it is highly involving because of the sincerity of the actors. The scenic location helps tell the story even if its not that strong. There should have been more tenderness and strength in their relationship, I felt that they were only kids in love. And for a tragedy, it should present a killer reason that their love affair is the start and end of things.
There is an early use of the Bergman theme of the human as marionette: in this case Marie, who has constructed an emotional 'wall' around herself after the tragic death of her lover as summer draws to a close. Maj-Britt Nilsson is superb, conveying absolute vitality and then outright withdrawal: the retreat into work, and then a cathartic reckoning with the past which enables the chance of future life.