Persona is the sort of film that I struggle to review. When thinking about the movie today, all I could really say was that it was a bit odd but I really liked it. I could probably end my review there. Persona is an example of a film that tests my limited film knowledge and both my powers to describe, compare and contrast. I might as well start somewhere. I’ve been reviewing films as an amateur and very occasionally professional for a little over eighteen months. I’ve been a real life human person for over twenty-seven years. Despite all those months and years, Persona is the first Ingmar Bergman film I’ve seen. There are a couple of his films which I’ve been waiting for my online DVD subscription service to send me but Persona was lent to me by a friend and broke by Bergman cherry.
The film begins with a wondrous and surrealist section of flashing images which are spliced into footage of a boy, stood alone in a room. The boy eventually turns to a book which is pretty much the only item in the brightly lit, sparsely decorated room. The boy, the book as well as the images appear at first to be a random assortment of things but eventually at least some of the images can be viewed as pointers for the story that is to follow. Others, like the often cut image of an erect penis are harder (ahem) to explain.