The Seventh Seal

The Seventh Seal ★★★★

The Seventh Seal is Ingmar Bergman’s take on religion and death. The film follows the story of Antonius Block, a knight who is returning home after having gone through the crusades. The country is now dominated by the Black Death and he ends up facing the grim reaper himself during his trip. The scenes between both of these characters are often intriguing, chilling and even comical. Block constantly questions the meaning of life and tries to accept his fatal destiny. The scenes with the witch character were very moving and illustrated how merciless and radical people could be at that period. I have one gripe with the film which is basically the acting. While most of the cast provides great performances (Especially Max von Sydow and Bengt Ekerot), I found some of the secondary characters like Jof, Mia and Blacksmith Plog annoying at times. Bergman uses a lot of theatricality here and I felt that there were scenes involving these folks, which were too repetitive and a bit dull. However, the overall result is mesmerizing and a definite must-see for those who are fans of Bergman’s work or everyone who just appreciates a quality introspective film.

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