Midsommar ★★★★★

The Director's Cut unfolds at a much more measured pace that just fits this material better. In the theatrical cut, the more overtly dramatic elements felt a little undercooked, and the humor felt timid or even unintentional at times. Even though there was something undeniable about it, I felt like I mostly appreciated it at a remove.

Here, the film has been transmogrified into a much more genuinely emotional experience. The expanded length allows time to consider everything that's gone into this thing, and it makes the fact that the characters never even consider leaving make a whole lot more sense. This is an oppressive environment, and it's consuming them. Of course they don't leave. They can't. None of us can.

Every element feels much more well-apportioned, and even seemingly simple things like the sharp intakes of breath taken by the characters before, like, exiting a room, become much more clearly purposeful when considered in contrast to the grotesque suffocation of Dani's parents and sister. This naturally leads to the film's screaming catharsis only registering as that much more of a breakthrough.

Expressing grief isn't stagnation, and it isn't a selfish inconvenience towards others, it's the reclamation of life, and it's all any of us can really do in the face of death.

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