Film Club Review – The Seventh Seal
The Seventh Seal
Bergmann’s classic film was lot different than I was expecting. From what I have heard, I didn’t think it had such a linear storyline and was wondering how all of the parts were going to come together, which they did. The Seventh Seal is a film about nothing less than life and death itself. Each of the characters represents a different outlook on life; the knight sees only torment and misery in the mystery of death and God and struggles with his belief in God, Jans the squire sees the artistic patterns in nature and does not belief in anything after, while Joseph and his family see the pure joy of life and are the pictures of happiness.
The knight struggles with the questions he has while he plays a game of chess with Death in an attempt to forestall his own end. The dialogue he and Jans has in this film are deep, meaningful and poetic, particularly the confession scene in the church. Much can be read into the actions and fates of the characters throughout the movie. No matter what you believe about the mysteries of life, you will likely find some aspect of this film which you can relate to.
Each part of this story contributes to the overall theme; the constant contrast and shifting balance of life and death. The photography and atmosphere also contribute to this theme with some downright beautiful and haunting images. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a movie so dedicated to its theme in all its parts. And I love how interpretable it is. There are no real conclusions, it all depends on your viewpoint. The movie doesn’t tell you what to think about something, it tells you to think about something, which is much more powerful. Bergmann’s masterpiece is well worthy of being called such.