Dhia Nouioui’s review published on Letterboxd:
Misommar is a horror movie that is set 95% in a brightly lit environment managed to more disturbing and psychological shocking than most movies shot in a dark atmosphere.
The symbolisms or blind faith, finding comfort in lies and being so brainwashed you‘d give away everything you hold dear and everything you are because you’re so blinded by it, even when this faith is quite obviously a lie built on taking plants with psychological effects and the use of continuous dance routines and specific food types, arranged “matings” and obedience to elders is a typical trait of oppressive cults and regimes.
I feel like the “mating ceremony” and how Christian was literally drugged and enthralled into it somehow and the moments before the dinner where he was following her May Queen celebration. It felt like he was trying to reach out to her, he was following her as she went in and out of her depressive and possibly psychotic episodes (all caused by her immense loss) and how every time he tried to know what was going on, no one gave him an answer until he was lured away to someone else’s arms (at the start of the film, it was stated that she hasn’t had sex with him for a long time) so he ended up in a non-emotional affair with someone not because he wanted to cheat but because her extreme situation pushed him away and how soon he realized what he’d done and abhorred himself for it. It was as if he had zero control.
Ari Aster really has a thing for close-up shots of mutilated heads. And for deformed children. And people burning alive.
I searched some names and these are the meanings:
* terri - short for theresa, which means "harvester". apt in the context of midsommar ritual and wishing future crops to grow, but not sure why dani's sister would be called this
* pelle - stemming from the greek word petros, meaning "stone". connection perhaps would be the standing stones in the fields with runes on them, and perhaps the stones the two elderly folks jumped onto
* ingemar - name date of 3rd of june, from combining the the name Ing (norse god of fertility+ peace) and mar, meaning famous
* maja - meaning "May"
* dani - meaning "god will judge", she gets to judge the faith of christian at the end
* christian - a man named christian burnt in a fire for a pagan ritual. lol
im guessing that pelle's parents sacraficed themselves in the yellow house and that's how they died? and that's why his brother did it? they have a queen and a yellow house burns down every summer right or just every 90 years that part was unclear to me but at the same time Pele says his parents burned alive in a house fire, which I think is obviously a hint from Aster that his parents were willing sacrifices in a previous midsommar festival. His parents obviously can't be 90 years old so this hint makes me conclude it's a lie they tell (or maybe just Pele tells?) to make people believe it's a once in a lifetime thing they can't pass up cause it seems like they likely seek out youngish Anthropology/sociology students specifically and add in the 90 years thing as a way to easily entice them.
I noticed when they all showed up to the festival, the elder who greeted them turned to each of the 3 males in the group and said "Welcome", but when he turned to Dani he said "Welcome home".
I couldn’t help but notice the amount of long shots in that movie that must have been very difficult to film.
One that really stood out to me was the one dinner scene where the two elders sit down and then everyone synchronized picks up their utensils one by one in this sweeping overhead shot of the table. That shot felt like porn to me.
It's amazing how the movie uses comedy to make the audience feel even more disoriented. It goes from a traumatic violent scene to a scene of full on comedy and it just leaves the viewer more baffled.
I think the movie is about the importance of sharing grief with family and friends who care about you. The scene with the other women all mirroring the main character crying is a great visual representation of the message as they all try to feel her pain to help her heal.