The first Bergman I ever watched is a feeble anti war film.
It concerns the effects of an undetermined war on the life of a seemingly happy couple. When the first drums of war start beating far away all seems good, but at first adversity the men cower in fear while the woman takes charge of the situation. This destroys their relationship, and after they are captured by “the enemy” and interrogated as collaborators, they turn from a couple to two individuals trying to survive.
The bleakness keeps increasing, culminating in the man straight up murdering the guy rolling in they hay with his wife (for war related reasons). She doesn’t react intensely because their bond was long gone by then.
The interpretation that the film is a warning sign after images of Vietnam flooded the western airwaves seems flawed, since the film is working on a higher level than mere politics, it should be analysed in the cloudy level of generic human relationships.
This is confirmed by the fact that everything about the conflict is kept fuzzy. Nothing about the war is ever addressed, it is treated as a catalyst to explore the relationship between the main couple. How relationships become strained in the face of adversity.