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.
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!
I liked the idea of a relationship breaking down when faced with the ever looming presence of war, but the tonal shift between the first and second half threw me a little, and the role reversal of the weak willed husband becoming the strong overbearing one, and the wife becoming the opposite, seemed rushed when explored only in an hour or less. The war themes could have been explored better, and less obscure as well.