This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
midsommar is one of the weirdest films i’ve ever watched. this was easily my most anticipated film of the year, but after watching it i was overwhelmed yet i felt odd.
let’s start off with the negatives, the film clocks in at 147 mins long, that’s extremely long. it does take a while before stuff starts to kick in so i think they really could’ve cut it down a bit.
i don’t think everyone brought their a-game. obviously florence pugh, jack reynor and the weird swedish people were outstanding but others i wasn’t so sure.
these are really small things.
my main problem is that after i watched hereditary, my first thought was, ‘ok, let’s watch this again’. due to its runtime and other things i can’t explain, i just don’t feel the need to rewatch midsommar.
now that i’ve got that out the way let me go through the story. our main character, dani, played by florence pugh is getting strange emails from her sister only to find out that her sister kills herself and her parents. florence is in an absolute state and her boyfriend, christian, played by jack reynor decided to bring her to sweden with his friends. whilst at a festival they witness the townsfolk commit ättestupa, sacrifices, and crowns dani as the May Queen. we then realise that the true intentions of the characters being brung to the festival was so christian could mate with maja to bring outside blood to the community. dani, after finding out what christian has done, chooses him as sacrifice as well as all the other characters and two volunteers. they place them in a temple and the temple burns with all the characters dead inside, except the two sacrifices and christian. christian is our inside of a bear and placed in the temple and burns alive. the community begins to scream and dani’s horrified face goes to a smile and joins in with the community.
it’s certainly weird.
if i had to say what the film’s about i’d say long lasting relationships, sexual desires, cheating and dealing with loss. at the beginning of the film dani is left alone in her grief after finding out about her sisters and parents death, christian holds her as she cries and moans and he looks out in the distance. at the end, she’s not sharing just her grief and pain, but joy and celebration with the community. after she finds out about christian cheating on her, she cries and moans with the community surrounding her, supporting her.
at the beginning, she was alone, isolated, and lacking any considerable empathy from those around her. by the end, she’s embraced the values of this commune, she feels seen, heard, respected.
from this it’s clear that midsommar is about relationships. relationships are tricky to be sure, but if there’s no foundation of empathy, understanding, it’s hard to build a lasting companionship. no one wants to feel isolated in their pain or joy, one of the greatest gifts a family member or companion can give is to share in those emotions.
that’s about it, now the film.
ari asters knows how to direct and write, his direction and writing really shines in this film. the cinematography is by far the best of this year. the use of tone, colour and lighting is near perfection. aster doesn’t need jumpscares to make a film scary, with the write atmosphere, sound, tension, music, he is able to make a film terrifying just by showing us disturbing imagery.
despite being brought into this heaven-like paradise, throughout the film you always feel uneasy and disturbed, even if something normal is going on you always feel at edge.
midsommar is another masterpiece by ari aster and i highly recommend it.