Its a film I was disappointed with.
The acting was overboard by and the direction was wayward. I thought that the director Ingmar Bergman sought to offer us a mystique spell and took the help of Magic and illusions in this.
The visuals are nice but there is haphazardness in the placing of scenes. The characters seem to have been half baked and not fully evolve. There are not enough reasons presented as to why anything happens. The climax makes the whole film comical, gesturing that we can get away with whatever crime we did, if the intentions are for good.
It's not about the realities we live with but more-so about the imagination of director. I really if the story was about the magician or is it it about something else called the imagination of the magician. Why he goes after people who are not for him, how he gets selected suddenly by the king at the end? Questions left unanswered do not satisfy the hunger of watching this, and rather left me in lurch and disappointment.
The acting was mediocre considering that it was Max Von Sydow, arguably a great Swedish actor who played the protagonist. I did not understand his angst nor did I get to know what the silences meant. The others (I do not remember their names) are just OK.
The sound track is great, the guitar was used generously and creates the mood nicely. The cinematography was just right. The art direction is extravagant perhaps adhering to the need of the period in which the film was set. The editing could have been way better. The moments where Grandma speaks some lines could have done in a better way or better chopped off.
It's an average watch and not a fully satisfying one for me. A 2/5 for this.