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The Touch (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on January 23, 2010

Bergman’s other big failures are notably outside his comfort zone.  High Tension is a thriller and All These Women is a broad sex comedy.  But this is well within his milieu: a 3-character domestic drama.  And so it’s even more disappointing in its blandness.  It could almost be a TV movie (of course Bergman did some excellent TV movies, but you know what I mean).  It’s hard not to blame the language.  The film was originally supposed to be in Swedish (when appropriate) AND English, but the studio demanded all English.  Apparently a restoration of the dual-language version is making the rounds, but I doubt it would be much of an improvement.  Elliot Gould’s in 80% of it, so those scenes would still be English.  And Bergman just doesn’t write or direct well in English.  A lot of it sounds so phony and wrong.  And nothing else about it is that great, either.  The music is lame, the photography lifeless, the symbolism blunt… even the editing is off.  There are some good scenes, though, particularly towards the end.  Rating: 5


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