Ingmar Bergman is one of the best filmmakers of all time, or at the very least for his time. I can see how his work is extremely influential for many filmmakers that followed. I personally loved The Seventh Seal and Persona (the latter is amazing and a staple for psychological thrillers). My favorite filmmaker David Lynch said Wild Strawberries had a big influence on him, so I’m very thankful for this film.
The film is about an old professor who specializes in bacteriology, and his journey on the road with his daughter in law. Along the way he meets many travelers on the road and also experiences flashbacks, nightmares, and daydreams about his best and also about events that seem to plague him. Off the bat the first “nightmare” we see is phenomenal. its shot in a manner where we are in silence and have to see the shadowed figure from the back. When he turns around we see he has no face and when he falls over his head explodes. Its hard to describe but its incredible. A lot of the scenes in this film are very memorable.
Like most of Ingmar Bergman’s film’s the film handles death, life, existence, and the shifting mental state. Borg (the protagonist of the film) has to deal with his death and rekindles connections with his daughter in law, his mother, his son and he comes to terms with his best. The film isn’t very straightforward and is abstract at times (something that Lynch is very known for), however the camerawork is intense at times. The black and white is grainy, ghost like, and captures some of the turmoil and dreamlike sequences to a tee.
Overall, this film like most of Bergman’s work is an experience that real nifty film lovers will love. Its a personal ordeal of a journey that is a joy to watch. Its not the best work from Bergman but is one that is most certainly can be examined multiple times because there is a lot going on. If you somehow miss this film than you are most certainly “guilty of guilt”.