Antun Kovacevic’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is one of those films which requires to be watched more than once to be fully understood. Attention to details in this film is incredible, and with every repeated watch you’ll get something new from this film.
Also, this film will get a director’s cut that’s at least 30 minutes longer than the theatrical release. Aster said that his version as a whole was 78 minutes longer than the version that’s in the theatres right now. But he won’t include all that footage in the director’s cut. I’m looking forward to the director’s cut because it might fix the biggest issues that I have with this film.
Ari Aster yet again proves himself as a fantastic director. He’s enormously talented and I can’t wait for his next project. Both of his films look like paintings and he has incredible attention for details. He has his own distinctive style and you can tell from the first few frames that this is his film.
He said in an interview this film is about a bad breakup. I would say it’s about that, but also about grief (similarly to Hereditary) and about the representation of different cultures and different perspectives on the world. I assume there are a dozen themes laid up throughout the film, but like I said this film has to be rewatched at least once.
From technical aspects, this film is mesmerizing. Pawel Pogorzelski does an incredible job with the camera. There are some sequences that look truly amazing, and I loved the choices of doing a certain type of shoots for certain scenes.
The color palette was astonishing. Even when you have almost the whole film happening in the daylight they managed to play with the colors. Nowadays it’s rare to see a horror film which is set mainly in the daytime.
The editing felt very similar to Hereditary and there were some similar cuts and transitions as in that film. Although this film takes it to another level and even more improves that from the previous film.
The acting was incredible. Florence Pugh was truly brilliant and she gave a performance that was very close to Toni Colette’s in Hereditary. It seems like Aster really knows how to pull out incredible performances from actors in his films. Will Poulter was also great, but it’s a shame that his character was very unutilized.
Speaking of unutilized characters, that’s my biggest issue with the film. From our 5 main characters, only two of them have a somewhat useful purpose. They could’ve easily written off Poulter’s character because he doesn’t contribute anything in the film. I get he’s comic relief, but they could’ve done so much more with his character. Vilhelm Blomgren’s character serves only as an exposition in this film. His only purpose was to explain everything that was happening on the screen. That’s the risk when you’re tackling some unknown subject to the audience, but I felt there was too much exposition.
Also, the film sets up some events/characters/conflicts/MacGuffins that didn't get any payoff, but like I said that might be fixed in the director’s cut.
I read some reviews that were saying how this film is too long and the length of the film can be felt. I would disagree with that wholeheartedly. I would prefer if it was even longer, but with the condition of tying the loose ends and giving some characters stronger roles. For me, the pacing was as it should be, but I can see why would someone say the pacing was off or that the film was too long.
I loved the film, but it’s not a full experience if only watched once. It’s very hard to rate films like this, but for now, until a rewatch or until the director’s cut comes out, I’ll give this film 8/10.