The story begins with the murder of a prostitute by a man who can find no happiness. He sees a psychiatrist who is more interested in bedding his wife than helping him. The man is hopelessly unhappy. The movie tries to understand his emotions and motivations but it is all bottled up inside him. His relationship to his wife is pure torment. The spar with one another. She gets pleasure out embarrassing him and then tries to make up. He is attached to his mother in a very Freudian way. We are put through a series of flashbacks and flash-forwards (is there such a thing) all scripted around the murder. It's hard to feel any compassion for the figures in this drama. Bergman could be so cynical about the human condition and this film, little known, carries on that direction. I guess, Marionettes have no personal will but are pulled by the strings of their indifferent masters. This film is not for the faint of heart.