If, by the end of this short “review” – or any of my others, for that matter – you’re left asking yourself, “What the hell was that?” you may be close to my response to Wild Strawberries. Except that 250 rambling words will have a much harder time blunting your evening than ninety meandering minutes will.
I get Wild Strawberries. I get what it’s trying to do: the story is of Dr. Isak Borg, who – nearing the end of his life – realises he is living completely isolated from any authentic human contact. Plagued by recurring dreams of his own demise, he sets out on a road trip to try and connect with anybody that will have him. He succeeds, but it is short-lived – his son reunites with his wife, and his travelling companions must continue their own journey. And although for one short day Borg was surrounded by loved ones, he comes to terms with the idea that 78 is perhaps too late to forge any long-lasting meaningful relationships.
Or at least that’s what I took from it. And I loved the story it told – but only as I was reiterating it just now. It’s simultaneously romantic and melancholy; but its screen adaptation inspired in me only apathy and boredom. Of course, this is only a first impression, and the story I outlined above may be clearer, and perhaps even more enjoyable upon the second viewing of Bergman’s version. For the first time, I want to immediately re-watch a film I didn’t enjoy – just to check I still don’t like it.