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Four women married to four brothers are spending a holiday in the Stockholm archipelago while they wait for their husbands to return from a business trip. On the last evening, before the men´s train is due to arrive from Stockholm, three of them recall episodes from their past life. Rakel tells of an affair with a lover from childhood days that led to her husband´s threatening to commit suicide in the garden shed. Märta recounts her student days in Paris, her romance with a Bohemian artist, Martin, and the details of a pre-marital confinement. Karin, the oldest of the three women, describes a farcical incident after a party, when she and her husband Fredrik were trapped in a lift. The fourth woman in the party declines to tell a story, and the fifth and youngest, Maj, elopes with her boyfriend just as the men return at dusk. (official distributor synopsis)


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English Funny, light-hearted, sometimes masterful (the scene in the elevator is one of the best written and well-arranged comedy scenes about the crisis of a couple). It has a bit of Decameronist framework in which women wait for their husbands and tell stories about the moment when they decided to stay with them. Although this topic literally tempts a dramatic and serious treatment, Bergman surprisingly played with it in a comedic tone. Of course, certain moments, and especially the audio-visual connection, show typical elements of the master's expressiveness. Nevertheless, I laughed, strangely, without bitterness. An excellently tamed lighter muse. ()


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English From now on the sentence "I was getting really worked up before I got to the elevator" doesn't only describe passing a level in a computer game, but also Bergman's early film Waiting Women. The short story with the married couple in the elevator is not only brilliantly written, but also brilliantly acted (Bergman has a lot of problems with male characters in his early films, imho, and they're pretty awful), and thus makes up for the rest of the film. Yet the woman narrating it modestly introduces it to her friends as "such a trifle compared to your stories". In doing so, the story of this tale doesn't deal with a topic any less important than the previous ones (marital infidelity), it's just that the woman approaches it that way. That's why it's the cutest and funniest. The rest is emotionally overwrought ballast. ()


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