Summer with Monika (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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I kept thinking while watching this film what would've happened to Romeo and Juliet (who were close by age to film's heroes Monica, 17 and Harry, 19) had they been given a chance to live happily ever after. Would they be able to love each other after the reality of marriage would fight with their eternal love, when the baby is crying all night long and there is no money to pay a rent, and young and tender Juliet has learned about power and pleasures of sex but her Romeo is always out working, trying to make enough money to support her and the child? Would Juliet get bored and angry with Romeo for leaving her home alone? Would she start looking for fun elsewhere? Would be Romeo left heartbroken and bitter or would the memories of that unforgettable summer with his Juliet - Monica still stay with him as the best time of his life?
Beautiful film with wonderful Harriet Andersson as a sultry teenager Monica, full of life, rebellious against her boring existence at home, ready for all pleasures of adult life but not ready for responsibilities of a wife and a mother. Will she learn? Will she remember the summer with Harry? Bergman, as usual, does not answer the questions. He never does. He tells the story - we are the ones who are left with unanswered questions.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
Right before the release of 'Sawdust and Tinsel', which marked the beginning of Ingmar Bergman's long string of profound films with metaphysical themes, he served up 'Summer with Monika', a film more in the tradition of the Italian neo-realists, about a young couple who spend a summer of abandon amongst the islands of the Swedish archipelago, north of Stockholm, before returning to the city and getting married.
The film's principals, Harry and Monika, are introduced when they meet at a bar. One is struck right away by Monika's liking for Harry--he really doesn't have to do anything and immediately scores a date with her at the local cinema. We soon discover that both young people are very needy. Monika comes from the more lower class background, residing in a tenement apartment with her mother and an alcoholic father, along with younger siblings who can't keep quiet. Harry lives in a bigger home but lost his mother when he was eight and hardly speaks with his father who suffers from health problems.
In the film's first act, Harry and Monika are at the point where they both want to run away as they both hate their jobs. Harry is a delivery person for a glass and porcelain factory and is constantly berated by his superiors as he's often late for work and shows little enthusiasm for the job. Monika works for a produce wholesaler and must endure the salacious comments and outright groping by crass co-workers and supervisors. It's understandable how Monika is so immediately attracted to the kindly Harry, as he doesn't treat her as a sex object like many of the men she knows from her side of the tracks.Read more ›
Aside from unaccredited roles in past Ingmar Bergman films, Harriet Andersson is introduced in a leading role alongside Lars Ekborg (both in their twenties playing 17 year old Monika and 19 year old Harry.) As often in Bergman's films the story has a deeper meaning than its basic plot, and has a stable shifting of multiple emotion. This is also one of few Bergman films to feature so many beautiful Swedish archipelago images. Among his better from the early era.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An extraordinary movie - much more than just a love story!Published 15 days ago by Miodrag Pavisic,Miodrag Pavisic
it feels as dated as it is...an early Bergman...a simple story of young love turning into grownup responsibility and dissatisfaction... Read morePublished 5 months ago by C. Roderick
There are interesting Special Features that accompany the main feature, especially the interview with Harriet Andersson, at age 80, and still sharp and with very clear memories of... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Stanley Crowe
In Ingmar Bergman's 1953 film SOMMAREN MED MONIKA (The Summer with Monika), young, idealistic Harry (Lars Ekborg) meets the freespirited Monika (Harriet Andersson). Read morePublished 9 months ago by Christopher Culver
Not much to like. "Fun Summer with Monica and then Misery" would be a better title. The nude shots must have been erotic in the day, but the movie is about silly young... Read morePublished 10 months ago by William C. Ade Ttee
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