The Father

Film, Family and kids

Time Out says

A battle between a retired army captain and his wife for dominance and possession of their only daughter ends in madness and death. The dice are probably loaded from the start in Strindberg's play, but a rather too engaging Rydeberg, as the father, isolates the much stronger performance of the wife to a point where the conflict does not mesh, and at the end emerges as more melodramatic than tragic. Matters aren't helped by some curious technical effects altogether more appropriate to Disney (writing appears as if by magic on a page), along with obtrusive and often unnecessary use of flashback. Too often the attempts to find a visual metaphor for Strindberg's imagery are so literal (hallucinatory sequences to illustrate the captain's madness) that they must detract from the original. A pity that Sjöberg didn't extend his treatment of the background to the central drama. There he successfully portrays a twilight world of sombre colours, full of eavesdroppers, a world where the central drama is played out in front of, and constantly interrupted and inhibited by, servants who say nothing but know everything. Straight theatre, in other words.

Details

Release details

Duration:
100 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Alf Sjöberg
Screenwriter:
Alf Sjöberg
Cast:
Georg Rydeberg
Gunnel Lindblom
Lena Nyman
Jan-Olof Strandberg
Tord Stål
Sif Ruud
Axel Düberg