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Pelle The Conqueror Review

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Pelle The Conqueror
A Tribute To Immigration

mibabur, Norway (Reviewer Ranking: 16) wrote this review on October 13, 2005:

Nearly 60 years old, Max Von Sydow gives a hell of a performance. He played memorable roles in Ingmar Bergman's classics of the 60s. Afterward he fared well in horrors like The Exorcist. He certainly left impression other times, if only upon the European audience. Yet, in my opinion, this is his best performance to date. He plays great failure to great success.

The film offers a deep insight into the life of immigrants from one country of Scandenavia to the other. Strange though it may seem today in the wake of current super-stardom of these countries in the arena of human development, the story remains true in nature, honest in details, dedicated to truth.

People, man, woman and child, have always been traveling around, looking for better things, better conditions to live and to die in. This immigration factor is a part of human nature. A ritual as old as life itself. People leave their place only to establish themselves another place. They do this out of necessity, for prosperity, in search for love, peace or health. They feel a pull towards their destination. Everything will be just fine there, they think. They keep on dreaming with their eyes half-open. Until they are made to open their eyes fully in the wake of reality. Lassefar keeps reminding himself he is not going to accept the first job offer, he is going to look for better terms, demand more. Still he is obliged to do exactly the opposite.

From that point onwards, destination achieved is no longer the "promised land", these weary immigrants had dreamed of. As it ceases to be their old dream, it turns into their new reality. Often so harsh that it makes difficult for them to decide whether they are better or worse off. Their great expectations unfulfilled, they begin to suffer and survive their new life. Miserable though they are, they are not ready to give up their dreams and reluctant to abandon their origins. But this, precisely, is what process of establishment demands. Otherwise, well, they can not count on the kindness of strangers.

So, they have to make their choices. They have to set their priorities right. If they want to exist and not merely be. Therefore, after a while or so, a compromise takes place. The newcomers silently and gradually accept the norms of their new world. They learn new rules, and practice to abide by them. At the same time, they begin to give their origins away, little by painful little. Some merely do not notice or pretend not to, others resist the current. But, all of them know.

Even then, they do not part with their beloved dreams. They sacrifice their past, useless for them anyway, for the future they think they have right to. They become even satisfied with their present. More at ease, if one dares say that. Lassefar's plans of second marriage exemplify this behavior.

Only thing needed to make the circle of immigrant life complete is the dream of a new and better world. Yet another promised land, only more fertile in riches, more extravagant in opportunities, more splendid in every imaginable detail.

They have sea awaiting at their doorsteps. Some day a ship will take them across it. To the other, far side of the world. To America.

Video Rating: 7777777777
Audio Rating: 8888888888
Extras Rating: 3333333333
Movie Rating: 10101010101010101010
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