Midsommar ★★★½

Midsommar is a weird beast. Probably the most prominent thing I heard being talked about the movie was its 147-min run time and honestly, I wouldn't have minded another 90 minutes. The movie was such a pleasant breeze to watch that the long run time completely flew by. Much has been said about how it's slow and the pacing is bad, but I don't agree. The beginning takes like thirty minutes to establish the backbone of the movie with Dani's tragedy and all of the relationships between the characters. Personally I loved this section of the movie the most. The prologue was hauntingly beautiful both visually and emotionally. Things continue well enough when the group arrives in Sweden. We get a hallucinatory scene which is both hilarious and sad with a tad bit of anxiety mixed in. Ari does a great job of filling the shots with interesting imagery, with clear foreshadowing. Folk art that more or less tells you what's about to come, but not clearly enough that it makes everything feel telegraphed when they eventually happen. When things eventually start happening with the weird rituals, the movie really picks up its pace, but unfortunately some of the story decisions are flat out baffling and come off like they're made only because of plot convenience. The central story with Dani remains strong until the very end, but the movie almost treats the supporting cast like baggage, even though the beginning puts so much effort into providing personalities and presence for all of them. The finale was probably the most underwhelming part for me. There's an undercurrent of tension throughout the movie, but I felt the end was lacking in rising stakes that eventually built up to a climax. Also I flat out didn't buy what the movie was selling to me with its theme at the end. I was fully on board with the subtext, but I didn't feel like it justified itself in the story.

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