Review: ‘Elvira Madigan’

Based on a true story of a doomed turn-of-the-century love affair, this film opts for the poetic, timeless and lyrical and succeeds right down the line.

Based on a true story of a doomed turn-of-the-century love affair, this film opts for the poetic, timeless and lyrical and succeeds right down the line.

Softly-hued color and a well-chosen background of Mozart music [from Piano Concerto No. 21] envelop the tale of the love affair of a young Swedish army officer of noble lineage and a young girl from a circus who is a noted tightrope walker. Film begins with them together, and then his desertion and her foregoing the circus and their idyll, until an inability to make any sort of contact with society leads to their suicide pact.

Pia Degermark has the luminous elan and delicacy, underpinned by the strength of her show background, to make her role of the girl always pleasing to the eye and revealing in her feelings. Thommy Berggren is a perfect counterpoint as the man who gives up all for love. Director Bo Widerberg shows a sure hand throughout.

Elvira Madigan

Sweden

Production

Europa. Director Bo Widerberg; Screenplay Bo Widerberg; Camera Jorgen Persson; Editor Bo Widerberg

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1967. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Pia Degermark Thommy Berggren Lennart Malmer Nina Widerberg Cleo Jensen
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