When the curtain quite literally opens to A Swedish Love Story you’re not quite sure what to expect from the 1970 Swedish film. Telling the strange story of the consequences of an adolescent romance that soon dominates its young lovers’ lives, fights, furtive glances and whispered messages ensue and makes for a compelling film. Although the dialogue is sparse, the emotion conveyed is captivating.
The infatuation is ignited when fifteen year-old Pär (Rolf Sohlman) first sees thirteen year-old Annika (Ann-Sofie Kylin) when visiting his grandfather in a nursing home where he warns his family of the perils of loneliness, a key theme of the film. The reality of ruined dreams and wasted opportunities – here poignantly signified my Eva’s moving story of her thwarted aspirations to be an air stewardess – seem to lead the characters who suffer them to lives of insecurity and silenced troubles, each one carrying problems with them that they don’t seem to be able to voice. Annika’s father suffers this fate and consequently steals the limelight away from her love story, imposing his wasted life upon her young love.
A Swedish Love Story is nicely filmed; a fact which is noticeable from the off. The titles for example surround Pär without obscuring him or his surroundings. The film’s story unravels slowly and its simplistic content is directed well. The intricate emotions it deals with are stripped and dealt with head-on. Despite A Swedish Love Story being a slow-burner, Pär and Annika’s love may be silent but dominates the film.