Midsommar ★★½

so...shallow. even when the women huddled on the ground and howled out, a physical amalgam of grief, i felt barely anything. the trauma and pain that this film seeks to explore is impounded by its want to frighten, its inability to step back and lay off for even two seconds. everything is left out in the open, a scream against the midnight sun and body flayed inside out. pounding violence that eventually loses its effect. these characters have nowhere to hide - but it’s hard to care about most of them. everyone but dani is one note and disposable. even christian is blank, a selfish man with no clear motives and an ignorance to dani’s needs. the more i think about it i realize how compelling some of the themes are - family bonds, passage of time, life, death, cycles, initiation, belonging, privacy, openness, and want. and yet, many of these aren’t explored to their full depth in the film beyond a throwaway line or flash of symbolism. the ending is one of the best parts yet even that feels undeserved, a careful and strangely restrained catharsis. the structure and orchestrated form that aster used in “hereditary” to replicate a dollhouse fails him here (save for the brilliant opening). it’s too pristine, the gore too practiced and performed to carry any weight, the camera shock still and distant. to make a disgusting film, you have to have an equally grimy lens.

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