Midsommar ★★★★½

One of the weirdest experiences I’ve had in the theater since mother!, Midsommar is an excellent sophomore feature from Ari Aster. It features some of the most brutal imagery you can imagine layered with music that makes it feel strangely harmonious. Aster has an incredible feel for the squirmy in his endings, and he left me mouth-wide and awe-struck yet again. There’s something to be said about a writer/director who is as willing to question the strange rituals we will turn to in order to deal with this strange world, and I will be along for the ride with Aster as long as he’s giving us these pieces of art. Midsommar is certainly not as tightly constructed as Hereditary, but I don’t think it’s meant to be. Where the latter is meant to be—frame for frame—inevitable, Midsommar is left to the viewers discretion. Why do we turn to the wrong person for help during trauma? Why do we reject traditions as old as human in favor of a new set of morals that disconnects us from the earth? I don’t think Aster does a perfect job of answering these questions, but ultimately we’re given enough to mull over until we get his next outing—hopefully a trilogy that wraps up an amazing critique of religion and trauma.

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