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memento_mori's Movie Reviews (203)

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Wild Strawberries ( Smultronstället ) 
A mindblowing tale of taunt, nostalgia and old age
3.5/4 stars

Ingmar Bergman is like a hornet. His films may not all be the best, but his screenwriting is just so remarkable, that some lines or certain scenes sting into my conscience and leave a lasting mark.
I do not believe Wild Strawberries to be his best work (The Seventh Seal still crowns that position), but it definitely achieves to fascinate me. I've seen films that were constructed the same way as this one, - flashbacks, dreams - but this one has a rare quality of suspense and question. And that's probably the highest praise I can give it.

The acting is uncanny. How vivid and natural every delivered line feels is just fascinating. Especially Bibi Anderson was exceptional in her two roles as old and new Sara. Even Max von Sydow is memorable in the one scene he is in.
Victor Sjöström portrays a convincing crumbling old man, who questions his faith and morality during a trip to Lund, to receive a reward he does not seem to very happy about.

This film explores themes we have all questioned in the past. Is there a God? Will I die alone? Are there things in life that can't be explained by a professor?
It shows us what life can do to a person when they are confronted with the question of the meaning of their life.

I think where I didn't feel as much at home as I do in other Bergman films, are some of the shots and dialogue, where I don't know what they are going for. For example, the ending left me cold, while the ending in Skammen (another Bergman film) made my jaw drop. I struggled to comprehend what else he was trying to indicate here. But that's only a minor issue, it's still fascinating.

What do you think of Isak's opening dream? I think it resembled dementia, basically being pulled into the grave, where time didn't matter. Let me know in a comment if you were as intrigued as I was.

'There are some things that can't be paid back, not even with gasoline.'
'You know so much and you don't know anything.'


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