This is a tender, well-observed pic about the coming of age of a young man in the Sweden of the ’30s. However, film is slow and relies on a muted series of scenes to build to its moments of truth.
The well-contrasted lensing brings out the ’30s look adequately. The bare, little street of the action [set in the southern town of Malmo] is also well notated with its characters, and children.
A young writer tries to break out and finally does. That is the essence of it. But in the process, the first rays of worker determination and the need to raise the level of the poverty-stricken sections of the population are well limned.
Anders (Thommy Berggren) has the right elan, divided loyalties and final strength to break with this gray life even if it means leaving a pregnant girl in the lurch. Keve Hjelm is fine as the pathetic father, while Emy Storm gives strength and depth to the mother. The allusions to politics and feel of the times are applicable to most of the countries in depression days.
Film is thus an estimable effort that will still find it hard to make its way out of Sweden. A bit more dramatic edge would have made it more effective. As is, director Bo Widerberg shows himself one of the more gifted among the Swedish newcomers. This is his second film and denotes a deep pro flair.