One of cinema history’s bleakest openings can be found in Ari Aster’s “Midsommar.” The audience is presented with explicit details about a young woman and her parents’ murder/suicide. She begins the film in a place of profound emotional ache, which is aggravated by the brash distance maintained by Christian, her teetering-on-the-border-of-being-ex-boyfriend.
He drags Dani haphazardly to a Swedish Midsommar festival – a weeklong celebration of the summer solstice – on a college research trip because he has no better idea. Consumption of hallucinogens occurs. Misunderstandings arise due to cultural differences. Witnesses to death are present. Embrace the bad times.
There is a great deal of despair in “Midsommar.”. Dani is going through a very dark time in her life, and her boyfriend serves only as an obstacle to her healing. The only way Dani can achieve dark catharsis is by entering a cultish, alien environment.
It’s pretty obvious when reading “Midsommar” that Aster was in a similarly dark place at the time, something he confirmed in a 2019 interview with The Atlantic. A breakup story at the end of the day, “Midsommar” is heavily derived from his emotional struggles following a breakup of his own, he revealed in the interview.
He was exhausted. It made him feel like a complete fool. His writing was finally inspired by the experience. The exploration was long, boy howdy. Aster’s first cut of “Midsommar” was even longer and heavier than the final theatrical cut, which ran 148 minutes.
Aster is an artist who believes that suffering can inspire creativity. Despite having gone through a breakup, the filmmaker was still deeply involved in it as he penned his story. The best – or most logical – way for him to cope was to write about his crisis.
Aster keeps the details of his actual breakup tactfully secret in the Atlantic interview, but he is quite honest about its darker moments. Aster seemed to spend a lot of time replaying arguments in his head, a familiar habit for anyone who has gone through a breakup.
Masochistic prodding has a dark logic. It is a good idea to make art out of unhealing scabs. A lot of art was generated by this breakup. “Midsommar” was originally intended to be an entire evening’s entertainment.
Midsommar’s first draft was repetitive, as with all first drafts. As a result, Aster continued to write until he felt that everything he had to say had been expressed. Editing and polishing would be dealt with later.
It turned out to be a lot of editing and polishing since the original draft would have been 230 minutes long. A year later, Avengers: Endgame culminated in a 22-film epic cycle that ran 38 minutes longer. The theatrical release of the director’s cut of “Midsommar” which runs 171 minutes allowed Aster to be more nakedly vulnerable.
According to Aster, he plans to make a “nightmare comedy” for his next film – another breakup movie – which he intends to make four hours in length. Regardless of what you think of Aster as a filmmaker, he certainly has a preferred milieu. The next film he makes is sure to bum you out if you were affected by “Midsommar’s” misery.
Dakota Cameron is a seasoned web content writer and covers the Hollywood movies for the MovieThop Website
Ms. Cameron began his professional life as a freelance blogger. Later, he worked for Witbe as a content writer for two years. His interests include blogging, reading, movies and travel.
Ms. Cameron graduated in Journalism and Mass Communication from University State of Georgia University. He is fluent in French, Spanish, and other languages.