Midsommar ★★★★★

(DIRECTOR'S CUT)

Midsommar was already a strong candidate for film of the year. The characters, including the Hårga, are more fleshed out in this directors cut. There are more scenes chronicling Dani’s and Christian’s ever collapsing relationship, which was one of the strongest aspects of the original cut as well. They don’t even get to Sweden until a half hour or so into the film. The stand out was when Christian invites Dani to Sweden, which is absent in the Theatrical Cut. Showing this whole interaction made the sudden jump to invite Dani make more sense, and made the cut to the following scene way funnier. Dani and Christian's relationship isn't the only one falling apart, as paranoia and selfishness eat all of Christians friendships away. They all slowly start to go mad and Aster brings a certain beauty to it, as this shiny veneer is peeled back to reveal a disguising series of rituals.

There is more time devoted to showing the customs and rituals of the Hårga, including an entire ritual scene at night. This is followed by Dani and Christian having an argument which adds way more context to the finale. This sudden jump to night in a film that mostly takes place in the day was jarring, and a nice change of pace. It feels very deliberate and it's a shame it didn't make it into the theatrical cut.

The Hårga, who’s name refers to a story in which the devil forces a group of villagers to dance until they die, are based on real Swedish communes and traditions, with Asters horror staples sprinkled on top. The community feels very lived in and believable. The amount of time and talent that went into crafting this world is very clear, as every intricately painted tile tells a story of its own and even hints at what is to come.

I wrote way more than this but I’m saving it for a future analysis. Overall, this almost 3 hour cut is worth a watch if you loved the experience of the theatrical cut.

6 stars out of 5 this time.

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