Monday, 4 July 2011
The Silence 
The third and final chapter in Bergman’s thematically-linked “Faith Trilogy”, The Silence would probably rank among the most tonally complex, bizarre and controversial of the lot. Consequently, unlike Through a Glass Darkly and White Light, its inclusion into the trilogy, too, is exceedingly difficult to comprehend. Suffused with emotional starkness, grotesque symbolism, sexual repression, surrealism and discomfiting sensuality, the movie chronicles the complicated relationship between two sisters – the voluptuous and promiscuous Anna (Gunnel Lindblom), and her intellectual, repressed and ailing elder sister Ester (Ingrid Thulin). The two sisters, along with Anna’s kid son, make a stopover in a foreign country, and put up in palatial but largely empty hotel. While Ester is strongly attracted to Anna, the latter has the years come to be repulsed by her elder sister, and this strange chemistry gives rise to strong undercurrents between the two; meanwhile Anna’s son drifts aimlessly in the vast emptiness of the hotel, largely unaware of the psychological tug-of-war between the two ladies. The acting, as in all Bergman films, is great, with Thulin’s being especially nuanced and memorable. Though bereft of background score, the terrific black-and-white cinematography has played an immensely vital role in delineating the various tapestries of this provocative mood-piece.
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama