Quick-Thoughts: Ingmar Bergman’s Cries and Whispers (1972)

Yeah, they nailed the title spot-on alright…

The pattern of Cries and Whispers personifies no distinct plot, persisting its adventitious story in fazing moments of sorrow in the lives of four very connected ladies. When Ingmar Bergman experiments with the world of cinema, he always attempts it in a different fashion for every one of his films that I’ve seen so far. Evidently, the drama can be quietly subtle and glowingly pretty to gaze at from time to time, but when the movie needs to get ugly, it’ll get unbelievably UGLY. The best way to illustrate the encounter of attending Cries and Whispers is to imagine yourself experiencing a loved one slowly die in a dream. It’s f****d. 

The minimal narration in this movie is distributed proportionally and gives us noteworthy insight into almost every character. Bergman is a freak with his extroverted camera motions and exploratory cutting that occur during unpredictable moments that linger on at an intentionally long scope. The overexposing red or color transitions are a highly underutilized merit in cinema that I would love to see implemented in more motion pictures after seeing Cries and Whispers. The predominantly exsanguinating red and clarified white interior house designs are an added bonus, as well. Oh, and there’s so much to dissect thematically from this only 91-minute feature yet so little time to do so. Ugh. 

I think I might have to watch this movie again soon, though, to make sure I’m like…okay…or mentally stable…or something… It’d be pretty terrifying to know that you somehow made something as concerning such as Cries and Whispers up in your head while watching some other movie. Just, four women, manipulatively seducing and talking s*** to one another, slowly spiraling down into sheer hallucinatory insanity. Bergman what is wrong with… 

Sigmund Freud would be very proud, though. Just sayin’.

Verdict: A

Ingmar Bergman Ranked

“Cries and Whispers” is now available to stream on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and The Criterion Channel. 

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