Hedvig Jensen is a famous ropewalker and is known to her public as Elvira Madigan. She meets Sixten Sparre, a Swedish officer who is married and has two children. They both decide to run away, but since Sixten deserted the army, he cannot find any job and the couple encounters many hardships.
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Who claims that all about human hetero-romantic love in Europe had already been said in the 1st half of the 12th c. may be right. Here's evidence, a Tristan & Iseult-ish tale which kicks off without accidental consumption of philter (love is accidental philter or not at all!) but filters original circumstances through later ostracizing practices that put outcasts to social death which later leads to death by hunger.
Une destinée aussi mythique que celle de Tristan et Yseult ! La douceur et la force d'Elvira Madigan, sa pureté sont bouleversantes, tandis qu'à sa tragique histoire d'amour, qui replace au premier plan les valeurs les plus belles et les plus humanistes, se joint, dans une réalisation épurée, la critique de toutes les médiocrités, du rigorisme moral en particulier.
An odd duck...because the opening title cards tell you what happens at the end, you spend the entire film anticipating what happens...but is it best enjoyed that way? ...because it works as a straightup pastoral romance and I doubt most people are familiar with the ‘true story’ anyway.
Widerberg's symphony of colours delivers a nearly anarchic essay on romantic love based on a true incident. He is served well by two extremely handsome leads (the out of focus close ups of Pia Degermark are a visual delight) who gradually detach from society. Money, institutions, relatives, friends, duty, profession give way to a nearly pantheistic naturalism, the apogee of which is the superbly shot tragic finale!
Dans Elvira Madiga, comme dans Adalen 31, la légèreté est souvent le signe annonciateur du malheur à venir. C'est le deuxième film de Bo Widerberg que je vois grâce à Mubi et j'espère que c'est le début d'un cycle.