Midsommar ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

The following is the review of Midsommar (Director's Cut). The review of the theatrical version can be found here.

After terrifying everyone with his ominous directorial debut that easily ranks amongst the scariest films of the decade, Ari Aster returned last year with an original & audacious folk horror about grief, trauma, family, toxic relationships & paganism. And although his sophomore effort wasn't as nerve-rattling as his first, it's still a very uncomfortable, unsettling & unnerving horror that established him as one of the boldest new talents out there.

However, it is only after watching Midsommar restored with all the segments that were edited out to improve the film's commercial value does one realise the true gem that Ari Aster's second film is. Clocking at 171 minutes, the director's cut doesn't really modify the plot structure but instead provides additional richness & cohesiveness to the story that makes the overall experience far more fulfilling & complete.

While there are a couple extended scenes here that the film was better without, majority of the new sequences add considerable weight & emotional wallop to Dani & Christian's relationship conflict, thus making the finale all the more cathartic & satisfying. Add to that, a new ritual of the Hårga festival featured in this latest cut also brings a closure to the final fate of a character who went missing in the other version.

Sewing new threads into an existing fabric in a manner that enriches the texture & quality of the whole tapestry, Midsommar (Director's Cut) is a welcome improvement in every conceivable way, and is the only version that should be available to the viewers. Its nearly 3-hour long runtime might seem daunting at first but the narrative flow & pacing is much smoother & breezier than one fears, and expertly ties up all the loose ends.

In short, Midsommar (Director's Cut) is undeniably a better, darker, powerful, haunting & rewarding edition than the theatrical version, and is Ari Aster's folk horror in its true, original & undiluted form. Strongly recommended.

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