Midsommar

Midsommar ★★★★★

[DIRECTOR’S CUT]

I can finally say I love MIDSOMMAR

don’t ask me how or what happened or where I came from or went— all I know’s that I guess third time’s the charm: that and the Director’s Cut

that’s right! I got the Director’s Cut: Collector’s Edition from A24 because— in spite of everything I’ve said about this film— I’ve always attested that it’s got a certain magnetic quality to it that always draws me back to it (that and my unhealthy addiction to collecting special editions of movies)

all I knew about the Director’s Cut was that it was longer and apparently the better: the latter was yet to be seen and the former had me genuinely raising a brow in disbelief ‘cause— if anything— one of my biggest problems with the original film was that it’s too damn long and not paced well (and this’s coming from somebody that loves long movies): but all of the added scenes in this have a legitimate purpose for making this the more “complete” version of the film as stated by Aster himself— whether it’s immersing us more into the culture of the cult or providing some key moments of added character development for the main group

I don’t know what the fuck happened— but it works: it just fuckin’ works

such seemingly simple (and some supremely special) changes do so much to make this whole thing feel so much more realized: I know that director’s cuts in general can be real hit or miss but this is one that truly feels filled to the brim with intention

all the things I had problems with before I feel like I can see that intention behind now

I thought that Dani felt like the only fleshed out character when— in actuality— this is actually kinda the point— she’s definitely the most fleshed out character— and all the others are meant to serve as a more collective representation of opposition (those she came with— who serve as constant sources of abuse to her prior to the trip only to become completely ignoring of her later in the film as they become immersed in the culture that eventually kills them) and assimilation (those she meets— who while themselves might not be looking out for her best interests are at least more than willing to accept her into their home)

I thought that the relationship narrative and the cult narrative didn’t mesh— but now I realize that— once again using Dani as the focal point— the key here is to show the immersion of this culture— Dani is the only respectful foreigner in the group— even though the customs scare her at first— she’s the only one to accept them and eventually embrace them in the iconic May dance scene: culminating in the finale as this collective sharing of grief and turning it into celebration of rebirth as Dani finally has someone to share in her trauma with as she’s reborn into a new person (unfortunately doomed to a new unhealthy relationship)

I thought that Dani and Christian’s relationship wasn’t fleshed out enough— with such a pivotal (arguably the main) aspect of the film not getting nearly as much development as it should as the film left more things than not just implied— but this time around there’re so many more scenes of genuine development— including one pivotal scene that I’m absolutely shocked was cut from the original release because it— without exaggeration— perfectly establishes everything that needed to be said about their relationship to the degree that it completely recontextualized both the movie and my appreciation of it

all of this— on top of all the aspects I already loved before— have genuinely made the Director’s Cut not only the definitive version of MIDSOMMAR for me but also a new favorite film for me— one that I can now say I love just as much as HEREDITARY— making me more than excited for Ari Aster’s next film— one of the best horrors I’ve seen in years: and one that I finally understand all the love for

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