An important film in Bergman's development as an artist, but really nothing more. It wasn't bad, it wasn't good, it was just too stagy and contrived. I can only recommend this to Bergman completists. Like myself.
An excellent tense and atmospheric character drama from Bergman, an early collaboration with cinematographer Sven Nykvist, whose black and white work here is superb. Simply stunning performances, particularly by Ake Gronberg and Harriet Andersson. A classic.
Bergman's meditation on the nature of being. How everyone is trapped in their own worlds and to go on must find a way to accept themselves as they are within fantasy and reality. Unhappiness and sorrow are not tragic but a fact of life and just as necessary as joy and love are. The camera work and sound design are a joy to experience - probably near perfect. This is Bergman reaching out with the power of performance.
My first Bergman. The one that made my heart stop. For me this is amazing and nothing less. The scene that really made me dive into this was the scene where the clown points the gun at is head - Amazing passion and delivery.
I really prefer the origins of an artist, because latter he will develop much harder masks to uncover - we all do.
This is raw Bergman and it's beautiful.
3 (maybe 3.5). Interesting at a character level, but not nearly as evocative or heavy as Bergman's best films. Bergman kind of evokes his existentialist nature by the way he plays the traveling circus metaphor, but the themes don't really transcend humiliated masculinity and maternally stifling romantic relationships. That being said, it is interesting at a character level; and it does have emotional power.