Review of Elvira Madigan (1967)
Seen in 2015.
Justly famous for evoking a tragic and romantic mood with great attention to detail, but it does this through a great deal of deliberate romanticism, where the suffering of Sparre’s wife and children are largely implied, described in words that are not even audible. The class conflict, the age difference, the unhappiness of Sparre’s marriage, the fate of the wife of a deserter, and the difficulties in getting help from Madigan’s fellow artists and the families, are all pushed so far to the sides of the struggling romance that they almost disappear. It seems that the director wanted to tell a story of two sad lovers for its own sake, in microcosm: ”Sometimes a blade of grass can be the world.” Well, it can’t, but the movie’s good.