Midsommar ★★★★

It's interesting how this film plays out. In its overall structure, the plot is almost completely predictable from the moment we set foot in Sweden, but the way it is executed and the individual scenes defy expectations, reveling in over the top absurdity. Which is all quite fitting, that bright (gorgeous!) aesthetic doesn't really lend itself to quiet subtlety. It's almost reminiscent of Yorgos Lanthimos at times, and elicited a similar amount of uncomfortable laughter from me. The film is certainly about horrific things happening, but I think it's less "scary" compared to Hereditary, and a bit more detached.

Ari Aster loves his stories about grief, with Florence Pugh delivering a performance that is absolutely traumatized and vulnerable. Midsommar has a lot to say about relationships in a different way -- about the harm of unsupportive partners stringing others along, and about the necessity of empathy.

This is technically quite an amazing film, though I expect pacing to be a point of contention. Personally, I never thought it was too slow. The overall flow of the movie feels sort of distorted and hard to get a handle on, which I actually loved. In a place where the sun nearly always shines, it's disorienting and harder to clearly delineate time, even moreso with characters regularly taking drugs. Even if it was in some ways exactly what I knew it would be, Midsommar constantly inspired dread-filled curiosity in me as it lurched towards its inevitable conclusion.

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