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The Seventh Seal (1957)

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A knight named Antonius Block enters a church that was open in his Swedish homeland suffering from the plague, to seek answers about the existence of God after serving ten fruitless years in the Crusades.

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Language: Swedish

Direction and Screenplay: Ingmar Bergman

Cast: Max von Sydow, Nils Poppe, Bibi Andersson

Genre: Drama, Fantasy

IMDb : The Seventh Seal

A knight named Antonius Block enters a church that was open in his Swedish homeland suffering from the plague, to seek answers about the existence of God after serving ten fruitless years in the Crusades. Here he encounters the specter of Death, whom he challenges to a game of chess. The outcome of the game will determine Antonius’s fate and that of others around him with regard to Death. As the end nears, he feels that he has one more important act in his life. Adapted and developed from Bergman’s own play ‘Wood Painting’ which was played on public radio in 1954, ‘The Seventh Seal’ takes its title from the Book of Revelations 8:1 and approaches head-on the so called ‘Silence of God’. Here, Bergman expresses his feelings about faith after being raised by a strict Lutheran dad, and about a period of emptiness during his adolescent years.

This piece of work would have led to a poetic movement in films if it was released now. It was released too early and didn’t get the reception it deserved back then. This stands unique from Bergman’s other theses as it gave filmmakers, especially in Europe the chance to drive towards the modernization of scripts as it contained a combination of the medieval and modern world. I feel that the plague shown in the film known as ‘The Black Death’ led to the formation of the grim reaper that personifies the character of Death. The figures of the Holy Family (Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus), Devil and Last Supper depicted in this thesis of faith, more than religion excited me. It also showed the feelings of people and their development towards the so called holy faith during the post-holocaust periods. The scene where the knight goes to confess haunted me for days, as I had heard a close person experienced something very similar to it. It also gave me interpretations of an encounter with a Death Angel before the end of our lives. This is why it makes me think about that film even now.

Looking at the technical side, the cinematography was mint, in a period where these aspects were taken lightly. Max von Sydow’s performance as the knight won him international acclaim and is often considered one of the best roles in his career. The abundance of real time art, painting and literature enriched the script even more especially the part where it ends. Man questioning God in certain scenes through allegory resembles the freedom of expression that is limited within him. Although the film doesn’t explicitly draw the connection, the quest for God and meaning are really two sides of the same coin. Overall, this film was intense, thought provoking and a classic without doubt. It also opens up an array of possibilities that we don’t or can’t know, which instead invites us to imagine an existence without them.

Verdict: 6/7 stars.

Brilliant.

 
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Alan Bince

An engineering student passionate about neo-noir, and indie films. A big fan of Martin Scorsese. Likes to try out new things. Films have helped me know more about different cultures across the globe. Also enthusiastic about the latest technologies used in filmmaking and reading about ordinary people who tried to leave their mark on the planet.

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Steve Rozario
Steve Rozario
2 years ago

Spot on….

Stark
Stark
2 years ago

Way to go Bince!!👏👏👏

Shemrin
Shemrin
2 years ago

Too good!

Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years ago

Real nice

Arpith S
Arpith S
2 years ago

Pretty solid stuff 👌

Steev James
Steev James
2 years ago

👏

Namitha Shajan
Namitha Shajan
2 years ago

Good one😍

Flemin Thomas Sabu
Flemin Thomas Sabu
2 years ago

Good work 👌

Big Dog
Big Dog
2 years ago

Solid stuff bro!

Nikhil
Nikhil
2 years ago

Well done. Great read🔥

Boby
Boby
2 years ago

Great read!

Allen Joseph
Allen Joseph
2 years ago

Beautifully crafted fellow red devil!

Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years ago

A really good read. Makes you wanna watch the movie right away 👌

Naseem Sabah
2 years ago

👌👌👌

Albert
Albert
2 years ago

My man 💯

Arjun Shenoy
Arjun Shenoy
2 years ago

really appreciate your review .from a cinefile

Regi
Regi
2 years ago

🤩Superb!

Prirhvi
Prirhvi
2 years ago

Good one! 👏

Rahul Rana
Admin
2 years ago

Definitely makes me want to watch this.
Well written man.