Unpacking the Harrowing Choice at the Heart of Ari Aster’s ‘Midsommar’ [The Lady Killers Podcast]
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Unpacking the Harrowing Choice at the Heart of Ari Aster’s ‘Midsommar’ [The Lady Killers Podcast]

“The Queen must ride alone.”

Grief is the great equalizer. No matter how hard we try to repress our pain after facing immense loss, sooner or later, the overwhelming emotions will find their way to the surface. Sometimes it feels good to let the feelings fly and other times–largely due to our surroundings–expressing grief sparks a spiral of shame that only leads to more pain and sorrow. Ari Aster’s Midsommar tackles themes of repression and catharsis in a sunny folk horror film that hits like a breath of fresh air. By following Dani (Florence Pugh) on a journey to accept her pain, we watch her rid herself of a great emotional burden and finally find peace in the depths of her sorrow. But are her actions murderous? Are they understandable? What would we do if placed in the same position? The Lady Killers podcast teases apart this tangled web of toxicity, despair, fading love, and sacrifice by uncovering the darkness hidden within the flowers.

Dani is a college student desperately clinging to a toxic relationship. When a family tragedy turns her life upside down, she finds herself stuck in this unhealthy match and constantly manipulated by her weak-willed boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor). On a research trip to remote Sweden, they enter the lair of the Hårga, a cheerful commune who openly share everything including emotions. But something is amiss in this idyllic community. A young woman from the village seems to be targeting Christian, and other newcomers go mysteriously missing. Dani finds herself drawn into this intoxicating world for better or worse and wins the title of May Queen at the culmination of the Midsommar festivities. But this honor comes with a heavy cost and the new monarch finds herself faced with a terrible–but potentially liberating–choice.

The Lady Killers continue their summer series with this complex film about love running out. Co-hosts Jenn AdamsMae Shults, Rocco T. Thompson, and Sammie Kuykendall discuss the actions of this murderous matriarchy while deciding what they would do if they were in Dani’s shoes. The conversation is cathartic in and of itself as each host remembers their own painful trials and muses on the lengths they would go to find relief. Has Dani saved herself or wandered into the clutches of a more toxic threat? Is the mirrored emotion a revelatory gift or just another means of the Hårga’s manipulation? What does it mean to feel held and what is Aster saying about the power of connection? The Lady Killers hold these competing ideas while wrestling with the dark heart of this masterful film.

Stream below and subscribe now via Apple Podcasts and Spotify for future episodes that drop every Thursday.

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The post Unpacking the Harrowing Choice at the Heart of Ari Aster’s ‘Midsommar’ [The Lady Killers Podcast] appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.

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