Midsommar (2019)

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Midsommar centers on Dani (Florence Pugh) as she deals with loss and grief. Her boyfriend (Jack Reynor), however, wants to break things off but decides not to once tragedy hits Dani. He reluctantly asks her to join him and his friends to Sweden to experience a midsummer celebration in a small village that ends up going horribly wrong for them.

I was very excited for Midsommar because I am a big fan of Ari Aster’s film last year, Hereditary. It was one of my favorites and I expected Midsommar to be one of my favorites this year. And well let’s just say that will not be the case for this film.

I did end up enjoying Midsommar, but I would not recommend seeing it if you are a casual movie lover/fan. The film is marketed as a horror film, and while it’s not really scary, it’s very disturbing and unsettling. There was one scene that unsettled me so much that I contemplated leaving the theater. I was turned off by the film when that scene played and it took me a while to get sucked back into the story. But I really enjoyed everything that came before that point.

The film is stuck with Dani as she is dealing with grief but also is in a unfulfilling relationship. Aster attempts to go in-depth over both topics, but it never felt balanced to me. He focuses more on the crumbling relationship between Dani and her boyfriend, and he clearly had relationship issues in the past seeing what transpires between these two characters. I did enjoy exploring their relationship but felt that her boyfriend, Christian, could have been played a bit better.

The craftsmanship of the film was great though. Florence Pugh gives an amazing performance and is the highlight of the film for me. The cinematography was also beautiful, capturing the bright Swedish countryside.

Overall, Midsommar was not as great as I initially hoped. It is elevated by Pugh’s performance and the cinematography. But a scene in the middle of the film turned me off and I was not as invested in the film after that point. I will revisit the film sometime in the future to see if my thoughts have changed now that I know what happens. But for now I give Midsommar a B-

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