The familiar elements are there. Those people, that island. Even the fractious relationship remains. It's just that he's crying, and she isn't sympathetic. So he changes, but she doesn't necessarily like the new version. She just doesn't have a choice anymore. That ship has sailed.
Bergman in broader, uneven strokes. The human condition under more obvious strain with greater emphasis on overt cause and effect. Normality remains as precarious as ever with the vacillating military action metaphorically waxing & waning human frailty in the face of threat and - more pointedly - what eventually collapses your morality into cuckoldry when your back is against a wall. Gorgeously stark throughout.
Bergman's nightmare of life during wartime, just disturbing enough for when you're in the mood to be moved but not, ya know, traumatized. Some amazing setpieces and ominous atmosphere, but still linked to a kind of theatrical mannerism unbecoming for the chaos he wants to evoke. Which means, even with the Trumpocalypse bearing down, I'm less sure it's a prophecy than (for a type of arthouse viewer) good clean fun.
Exceptional not for the camera's lambent grace, the austere elegance of the sound, the radically unfiltered complexities and frank, unsentimental empathy... though those elements, if not flawless, are close. Most profound, rather, was Bergman's ability, seemingly via an appeal to pure intellect, to somehow end up making me feel. 4.5
Very interesting story and camerawork along with two fantastic lead performances from Ullmann and Sydow. Extremely brutal and hard to take but well worth it because this is a fantastic piece of filmmaking. Bergman proves he one of the best again!