Brah, I’m still young but this film had me questioning my whole existence.
What’s It About?
Isak Borg is a physician who’s about to receive an award from the university he graduated in. Isak goes on a road trip from Stockholm to Lund, Sweden with his daughter-in-law who isn’t particularly fond of him. Along the way, they meet a couple of hitchhikers who hop along for the ride. Now, as Isak treks through to his destination, he learns to come to terms with his past, present, and future. The plot of Wild Strawberries is very simple, but it does make for a deep and introspective character study on life, death, and the regrets of the past. Isak isn’t just traveling through Sweden, but he’s also traveling through the points in his life that helped mold him into the person he is today.
Who’s In It?
Victor David Sjöström plays Isak Borg and he rocks! I did some research on the actor and he was apparently a renowned director as well. In fact, he was one of the A-list directors during the “Golden Age of Silent Film.” It’s fitting that a director/actor of such caliber would be cast to play a a character who’s also highly regarded in their field of profession. The opening monologue Sjöström gives sets up the themes of the whole film. Isak has achieved so much, but even with all his achievements, there’s still a sense of loneliness and regret that he feels. It’s a melancholic performance, but ultimately, it leads to a cathartic resolution. Sjostrom’s performance is understated in that he never resorts to grandiose theatrics to get the character’s thoughts across, but by the same token, it manages to speak volumes even if it isn’t in your face.
Did You Like It?
This might be my favorite Bergman film that I’ve seen so far. Wild Strawberries is a moving tale on introspection and loneliness with gorgeous cinematography and a powerful performance from Sjostrom. Bergman’s use of dream sequences provide all the necessary backstory for Isak as well as context for why he is the way he is. If you’ve seen A Christmas Carol, then Wild Strawberries will feel familiar to you, but Isak’s ghosts are his dreams and they work to help him accept the things of the past in order for him to accept his present and future. If The Seventh Seal left you distressed, then Wild Strawberries will leave you with a sense of hope. It’s a melancholic look at life, but it’s also a celebration of the achievements of a life well lived and it’s this overall message that Bergman gives us that left me moved on an emotional level.