[In Bergman's finest work,] there has been a dramatic structure established out of the various elements contained in the films, the minutely observed physical detail generally counterbalancing the more abstract and often rhetorical nature of the central theme.
In Through a Glass Darkly, however, all this has changed. As in So Close to Life, Bergman has here decided to deny himself all but the most austere imagery, as he has restricted himself to four characters and has taken pains to observe the unity of time. But paradoxically, if this is aesthetically his most austere film, it is thematically his most self-indulgent; for in this barren island world that Bergman has created, there is...
(The entire section is 460 words.)