Midsommar ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

As a songwriter, I have so many favorite lyrics. One of them came to mind walking out of Midsommar: In Graceland, Paul Simon sings, “Losing love is like a window in your heart. Everybody sees you’re blown apart. Everybody sees the wind blow.” 

Not “feels” the wind blow. Sees the wind blow. They can try their best to feel it with you. They can hold and rock you while you cry. They can tell you they’ve experienced what you’re experiencing. They can even whail and flail in agony, as you do - mirror puppeting along with your pain to show you that you are not alone. 

But these efforts to console or relate to you are still, ultimately, a pageantry. Some perform it out of a sense of obligation. Others perform with ulterior motives. Some actually are convinced they know exactly how you feel. And some are just part of a bear-husking, shroom-tripping, pube pie-baking group sex cult from ABBA country. 

There are lots of other angles from which to look at this incredible piece of work. I think, much like Martin Scorsese’s overlooked 2016 film Silence, Midsommar could be considered highly political (and valuable) for making shockingly pointed (and true) statements about the absolute insanity of organized religion - the cognitive dissonance and shutting down of conscience that accompanies extremist ritual; the worshipping of unborn fetuses, even at the literal sacrifice and degradation of living human beings, who are viewed as no more than walking flesh to be cleared aside when ideologically necessary. 

But as the whole cult gyrate and scream along with Dani (played brilliantly by Florence Pugh, who deserves many awards and better get them!) in the final scene - some looking genuinely convinced they have spiritually tapped into some sort of empathetic cell-to-cell connection of shared suffering with the people they have murdered, some breaking into grins and laughter that reflect the commitable lunacy of their beliefs - I thought of that lyric, and how this whole film could be viewed as one long, slow gaze into that window in Dani’s heart. The window you can tell everyone is looking through. The window some try to shut for you. But, ultimately, the window only you can feel.

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