The true master of cinema - Ingmar Bergman - returns to film-making at the age of 85 to direct this, his last feature. Considered by many to be his finest achievement, the film reunites the characters from his 1973 film Scenes from a Marriage in order to further examine the relationship between Marianne (Liv Ullmann) and her husband, Jonas (Erland Josephson), whom she visits after 30 years. Before long, a family feud, sparked by the hatred a son has for his father, ensues. As father and son compete with each other for the love of Johan's grand child, Marianne struggles to understand why she has been drawn back to what is a painful chapter of her past. The film unfolds over a period of several weeks and as is Bergman's style, people talk, whether it is with aggression, with pain or with a sense of confession. This is a film that represents everything that Bergman is both revered and respected for - an ability to capture the essence of human confrontation whilst exacting flawless performances from a talented cast.
This is not an easy film to watch. It requires consentration and open mindedness and there is no clear narrative dished out from the screen. And yet it gives so much. The character's are mostly difficult to like and in Johan's case downright repulsive, yet through the telling of the story you are brought to share an empathy with them and to recognize your own flaws in them.
The style of the film is remarkably similar to its prequile scenes from a marriage, there are as many cast as could be fitted into a car, lacks humour (which is unusual for Bergman) and almost exclussivly focuses on dialogue and it shares in its Brillance, a deeply enlightening film.
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