Friday, November 5, 2010

Summer Interlude - Ingmar Bergman Movie

Watched Ingmar Bergman's 'Summer Interlude' last night. It has stunning visuals and that was the first thing that registered in my mind within five minutes of watching the movie. The movie had little dialogue, only as much as was needed to drive the story forward, and had just about enough to keep one guessing about where the story headed.

'Summer Interlude' is the story of an accomplished Opera singer Marie who receives a parcel one day. The parcel contains the diary of Henrik, her first love, someone whom she had met about fifteen years ago, in a summer interlude in her hometown. She lives with a lecherous uncle, a friend of her fathers, and his wife who is completely subjugated by her wayward but rich husband. She meets Henrik on the boat and they meet many times after, going swimming and playing and frolicking like any two young people in love. Their relationship angers her uncle, but the two youngsters commit themselves to each other and orally confirm their engagement to one another. And then Henrik dies in a freak accident by the lake. Marie devotes herself to her dance, and though she gets into loveless relationships with her uncle and others, never experiences love as she did with Henrik. At the moment that she received the parcel she is seeing a young journalist Nystrom but the shadow of her first love does not allow it to grow either.

Upon receiving the parcel Marie undertakes a journey to her hometown and to the places where she and Henrik courted each other. She meets her uncle who tells her that he was the one who sent her the parcel. Marie is disgusted with him and leaves and returns to the opera. She is still in her disturbed state, wondering at her life, when a sudden intrusion by the ballet master who puts everything, her dance, her life and all else in the perspective of impermanence. Marie realises that her happiness lies within and there is no point hanging on to her past. A persistent Nystrom gets love from Marie as she decides to live her life fully again.

This is the first Ingrid Bergman I have seen. I am impressed with the clear and strong storytelling, sticking to what he wants to say in a bare fashion without complicating it. The other layers come in effortlessly through the other characters, their likes and dislikes, their outlook to life, their beliefs and so on. It is certainly the kind of story telling that will remain imprinted in ones mind, mine surely, for the way it is told.

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