Starring Harriet Andersson, Lars Ekborg, John Harryson, Dagmar Ebbesen
Banal. Unromantic. Modest.
One of Ingmar Bergman’s earlier works and some consider it his first great film, Summer with Monika is a bleak, remote tale about a hard-working but beleaguered young man, Harry (Ekborg), who falls hard for a local beauty, Monika (Andersson), abused by her alcoholic father. They run away together, have a passionate summer together, and return home once she gets pregnant to find that they’re not very compatible. The main draw for the film seems to be Bergman’s muse, Andersson, who had a tremendous career and many interesting roles. I don’t think Monika is one of them. As an object of affection, she’s certainly believable, but as a personality, she’s awfully dull and eventually unpleasant.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-