Wild Strawberries ★★★★½

Above all else, Wild Strawberries is a marvel of filmmaking. From scene one, any and all viewers will be placed into the hands of Bergman and subsequently subjected to one of the most hypnotic and beautiful filmmaking experiences, I, for one, have ever seen.

A film so radiant in its black and white beauty, eloquently put together and magnificently crafted, you can’t help but wonder what it all could have truly meant. We begin with an opening sequence that immediately catches the audience off-guard. A dream. A dream that, in its utter strangeness, masterfully sets up what the rest of Bergman’s film will detail. The squeal of a carriage, a pulsating heartbeat, the hooves of horses. “What could follow?” you might ask yourself, but chances are the real answer is far more complex than expected. You have a dream like this, what would you do? Well for our protagonist Isak Borg, he decides to analyse the cracks in the pavement of his life; the seemingly empty nature of it all. What follows is a human, touching and emotional look at life and the things that bring us joy, one that stands out amongst other films that try to do the same.

Wild Strawberries initially begins a character study of the professor we proceed to follow throughout the film. He isn’t the most likeable person, quite the opposite actually. We can see how egotistical and self-absorbed of a person he is. It is in the aforementioned dream that he begins to understand what he must do to change his ways. It is in the films central plot, revolving around a road-trip that we find his goal is explored through the numerous side characters. These characters dip in and out of the film, leaving their mark as a significant indent in the film. The real star of the show is the professor though, and that’s apparent. But it’s his relationships between these characters that allows him to be explored in a more thorough fashion. It makes a film that seems so relaxed and quietly emotional that much more of an experience. We move along with the character as he morally progresses and it's brilliant. I couldn’t help but be utterly entranced by this film.

One of my favourite Bergman films so far, Wild Strawberries is a surprisingly emotional film that won’t be leaving my mind anytime soon.

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