Some time back I watched the movie Wild Strawberries by Mr. Bergman, I was so glad I managed to get the one with subtitles. I think of this movie so often, whenever I see strawberries, flashes of this movie comes in my mind. This movie has so many layers. I love movies with complicated charaters yet with a simple story.
Mr. Bergman has an amazing understanding of human relations. First and formost he is an extremely self aware person. His storytelling style is so interesting and rest of the work his camera polishes it. His composition, the angles, he makes his actors look so beautiful. Many times the actors act so well, I do not recognise them for few minutes and then I realise “oh he was in the other film of Bergman.”
As Wild Strawberries starts I kept on wondering why is this movie called so?
Its a beautuful story of a grumpy old man called Esac. Its a journey he takes with his daughter-in-law and by the end of the day he has a huge amount of self realisation. Its about egos and grudges. He had a huge grudge against his brother as he married his fiance that time, years later it still haunts him in his dreams and he has yet not got over it.
The movie talks about how a cold mother can damage generations and coldness is passed on unconsciously if not realised.
In the movie inspite of being old now Esac remembered often the place outside his family country home where Wild strawberries grew and where he would sit with his ex fiancé, a girl he never got over and due to this he was never been able to love his departed wife. As she had a need to be loved, she had random affairs all her life. She said “he just did not care that she slept with someone else”, that cold Esac was. Due to all this they had a dysfunctional marriage and their son always felt like an unwanted child which also made him short tempered and did not want to become a father as he was afraid he would mess up his future child like his parents did to him.
When Esac asks his daughter in law why she doesn’t like him she staight forwardly tells him, “because you are a selfish man” and she gives a number of reasons to make her case, at his point he listens intensely and openly to her.
During the later part of the movie it is shown that Esac himself had an extremely cold and taunting mother. The root cause of all problems.
This beautiful story is of getting closure and changing. Its never too late to change and to take the first step towards the people you love.
In the end Esac, in the last scence is first time at peace as he accepts his mistakes and let goes his ego.
In the end scence when his daughter in law tells him that she is going to have his grand child and they are going to give their marraige a chance, she kisses him on his forhead and Esac tells her that he likes her very much and she (daughter-in-law)in return tells him “I love you Uncle Esac.”
Esac use to meet his ex fiance at a place outside their summer house where Wild strawberries grew and this place was a happy time in his life, his youth when he was in love and this same place always came in his dreams.
What a beautiful end, you know for sure inspite of failing at all his earlier relationships and he will make sure he does not repeat the same mistakes with his grandchild. Plus he had already started to bond with his son, daughter-in-law and his maid cause he had realised that he was lonely because of his own selfish cold nature.
Indeed a masterpiece.
A must watch for everyone.