Faithless

"OK"

Faithless Review


Liv Ullman may get the directing credit, but every line in Faithless is stamped Ingmar Bergman (who wrote the script). Between the immoral souls of the characters twitching with desires they can't control and the extended two and a half hours to endure, who else could it be? (Bergman's original Fanny and Alexander was close to six hours long, though the American version is two and a half).

Bergman showed a penchant for family drama with Fanny and Alexander and Wild Strawberries, among others. He enjoys mixing the imaginary world of his characters with their reality. This can lead to a deeper emotional entanglement with the characters; it's human nature to reflect and react based on internalized stimuli. Unfortunately for Faithless, Bergman is revisiting territory he excelled in some 40 years ago, without shedding any new light on his subjects.

This isn't the first film in which Bergman has written an old man getting close to the end and brooding with a fantasy companion about his wrongdoings. It's basically Wild Strawberries, only this time the crime is adultery instead of hubris. The main character is even sitting at a desk and writing constantly, again.

Bergman (the character, played by Erland Josephson) is an elderly gentleman who beckons Marianne (Lena Endre) to discuss her adulterous relationship with David. Marianne, an actress, and Markus (Thomas Hanzon), an orchestra prodigy, have been happily married. They have a young daughter, Isabelle (newcomer Michelle Gylemo), and David (Krister Henrikkson) is their best friend. David is a director and the stereotypical brooding, unhappy artist. One day David offhandedly suggested sleeping with Marianne, and when she went to Paris on a special project, he found reason to go as well, and their new relationship began.

Bergman and Marianne journey through the entire story of the relationship. Often the camera cuts from the tense face of him to the tear-strained eyes of her. Every once in a while these moments are punctuated with a flashback sequence. In fact, the experience feels more like a play than a film, as screen time is consumed with the two sitting in a room and chatting away. The circumstances that brought Bergman to be the repentant weakling he is today and Marianne as his mirage take a back seat. Multiple takes of a man feeling horrible and a woman crying do not a film make.

Not to say that Faithless is a complete waste of time. When scenes that reflect on Isabelle come along, her innocence and quiet intelligence are well drawn. Because she gets to underplay the situation she has no control over, her plight becomes more important than that of her parents. This young amateur remarkably carries more presence in her silence than Marianne does with her tears.

Another fascinating point in the film is how simple and suddenly adultery can come to pass between two old friends. No easy excuse is made for it -- "trouble in the marriage" -- and the subsequent actions of the characters involved are realistically complicated. The film sticks to its story without attempting to pander to a mainstream audience.

For those who have never seen Bergman's work, this is not the place to start. A predecessor by some 40 years, Wild Strawberries is a more interesting story (even if it was shot in black and white) because the characters are more active, both in imagination and real time. They don't just sit around and brood all day but instead reflect based on external cues in their environment. That is what made Strawberries emotionally engaging. Perhaps if Faithless was told from beginning to end instead of through glimpses into a past, driven by tears, it would have hit half the nerves it was striving to.

Aka Trolösa.

Faith lost.



Faithless

Facts and Figures

Run time: 142 mins

In Theaters: Friday 15th September 2000

Production compaines: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Carol Morgan, as William 'Bill' Wade, Hugh Herbert as Mr. Peter M. Blainey, Louise Closser Hale as First landlady, Maurice Murphy as Anthony 'Tony' Wade, Anna Appel as Mrs. Mandel, Second Landlady, Lawrence Grant as Mr. Ledyard, Henry Kolker as Mr. Carter, Geneva Mitchell as Party Guest (uncredited)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.