What Really Happened To The Heroine Of Midsommar (2019): Analysis Of The Film. The Meaning Of The Film Midsommar , Explanation Of The Plot & Ending, Description & Analysis Of The Thriller
Country: USA, Sweden
Genre: Horror, Drama, Thriller
Year of production: 2019
Directed by: Ari Aster
Actors: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Vilhelm Blomgren
Midsommar (2019) is not just a horror film, but a concept film with deep content. At first glance, this is a movie about sectarian psychopaths. But according to director Ari Astaire, the point of Midsommar is the importance of ending dead-end relationships on time.
Of course, one can argue with such an interpretation.
What is the movie about
Brief summary of the film. In the center of the plot of this picture is Dani, an orphan girl. Recently, a tragedy occurred in her family, and she can not come to her senses. In particular, this is why she distances herself from her young man Christian, although she needs him.
Florence Pugh as Denis and Jack Reynor as her boyfriend, Christian. Frame from the film.
One day, Dani’s classmate, Pele, invites her and some other guys from the university on an entertainment-tourist trip to the north of Sweden. Through him, the guys get into a closed community-type sect, whose members call themselves a horga.
At first glance, everything is fine there: people in white clothes are studying runes, and everything around them is bright and clean. It seems that students should be alerted by the beliefs of members of the horga, according to which a person’s life is divided into four seasons: spring, when you are a child, summer, when you are released on a pilgrimage around the world, autumn (working time) and winter (mentoring).
But the guys do not ask too many questions. They settle in this commune and for a while just enjoy food and drink.
And then Pele invites them to take part in an interesting ritual dedicated to the summer solstice. Together with members of the horga, they go to a large rock and see how two elders of the commune shout “Valhalla!” jump off the cliff. The woman who jumps first is instantly killed. The man is wounded and is finished off by several members of the commune.
Dani and the other guys are horrified by what is happening here, but the elder of the commune explains to the shocked students that this ritual is necessary: the inhabitants of the commune believe in the cycle of life. They are sure that the old should “give life” to the young.
Ritual of Midsommar. Frame from the film.
Dani doesn’t like this explanation. Moreover, the suicide of one of the Horgi elders was a serious blow to her already shattered psyche. But Christian was so impressed that he decided to write a thesis about the life of a strange commune. One of the guys, Josh, has already started working on this topic, but Christian does not care at all.
The elders allow guests to collect information – provided that they do not speak names and titles. Josh, captivated by the idea of writing a dissertation, despite the prohibition of the Horga elder, sneaks into the temple under cover of night to get a book with runes … He became the first victim of the Horga residents.
As the story progressed, the number of victims increased, but Dani, who was chosen as the Queen of May, and the rest of the students, drugged with hallucinogenic drinks, had already stopped paying attention to this.
Midsommar festival, meanwhile, continued. At one of its stages, nine sacrifices had to be made to the sun. The eight victims were to be foreigners and residents of the Horga, and the ninth victim was to be chosen by the May Queen. She had to choose between Christian and a random local. Remembering past grievances, Dani made her choice …
The movie version was shown in theaters and on the Lordfilm website. There is also a director’s version, although there is probably no need to watch it: the idea of the picture is clear and so.
The essence of the film Midsommar is not so much a conflict of different cultures as faith and disbelief. The point is that a non-believer is always alone, but a believer can unite with other believers.
The main characters (a company of American students) embody different faces of today’s unbelieving world. For example, Josh is science. Even when he sees the brutal ritual murders, he is not shocked, because in everything that happens he sees only good material for a dissertation. He doesn’t believe in rules, breaks taboos and pays for it.
William Jackson Harper as Josh. Frame from the film.
Mark is a person who is only interested in entertainment. He also commits a sin by urinating at the tree of ancestors. Having desecrated the grave, he signed his own death warrant.
Dani and Christian are archetypes of feminine and masculine in their purest form. She embodies a person’s devotion to emotions – that’s why she studies to be a psychologist and visits a psychotherapist. The cry that comes from her at the very beginning of the picture, the viewer hears at the end: this is the cry of a man who has lost his mind. That is why, in particular, Dani manages to become the May queen.
Christian also embodies the crisis of Christianity. On the one hand, he seems to personify compassion, but on the other hand, it looks more like cowardice. His compromise eventually leads him to a tragic end.
Two themes collide in Midsommar: family and cult. In both cases, the family shows a complete inability to console. Repressive forms of cult, on the contrary, unite people.
According to the director of Midsommar (2019), the script was based on his own experience of a painful breakup. Christian is shown as an extremely unpleasant character: he devalues Dani’s feelings, lies to her, forgets about her birthday, and, in the end, cheats.
At the same time, he steals the dissertation topic from Josh, and when he smells fried, he completely renounces his friends. Dani, in turn, is not a victim. She clings to the relationship with all her might and tries to keep Christian, although she knows that he has long lost interest in her. At the same time, neither he nor she lacks the determination to break off relations.
Frame from the film.
The meaning of the ending
At the end of the film, Dani chooses Christian as a victim. Members of the horga make him drunk, put him in the skin of a bear and bring him to the temple. He is a sacrifice, symbolizing the wickedness that must be got rid of. Along with Christian there are other victims. Members of the Horga bring straw and set fire to the temple…
You can try to find an explanation for the fact that Dani chose her ex-boyfriend, thereby killing him: by that time she was already out of her mind. At the same time, she understood that Christian had caused her great pain.
To understand the meaning of the plot of this terrible scene and find an explanation for it, it should be remembered that the main theme of Midsommar is the theme of belonging.
At the very beginning of the film, Dani suffers from loneliness: she feels that Christian does not love her, and is still experiencing the loss of loved ones. Next to Christian, she does not feel a sense of “belonging and home”, and the members of the horga are united in everything.
For example, when the first victim throws himself off a cliff and breaks his legs, the horgans scream in pain along with him. When Christian “copulates” with one of the members of the community, witnesses of this make characteristic rhythmic sounds. And during the last sacrifice, it seems that the flame devours the Horgans too …
Dani becomes May Queen. Frame from the film.
The meaning of Midsommar ending is that the “ritual of belonging” has been performed. At the end, Dani, despite all the horrors around her, smiles. The key to her strange behavior is that she, once rejected, was not only loved, but made an idol. Horga became her new family.
The main interpretation of the ending is this: Christian dying in the fire symbolizes not only symbolic evil, but also the complete liberation of Dany.
There is a slightly different explanation for the ending.
The heroes of the film are typical representatives of a modern (tolerant) society. They try to keep all decorum. The woman is still dependent on the man. A man does whatever he wants, and a woman does what he wants.
On the one hand, the finale of Midsommar is an absolute stamp of horror films (more precisely, slashers), but on the other hand, everything is a little different.
“The last survivor” (in theory, a girl who is an outsider in the company, not only survives, but also defeats a maniac / monster), the weakest of the whole team, in the final she becomes a killer, executioner, punisher. The point is, it does not punish evil, but the very weakness on the side of which it no longer wants to be.
On the one hand, Midsommar is definitely a feminist film. But at the same time, this movie is about the collapse of the idea of humanism, feminism: the director believes that it leads to violence and death.
Frame from the film.
Based on real events?
By the way, the further fate of Dani is not so sunny. She became a symbol of fertility, she performed rituals with burying the meat of a dead animal, with a broken egg (a broken symbol of life) and with the burial (death) of grain. The victims were buried (killed) so that they would be reborn and bear fruit.
According to Horgan tradition, the May Queen is also burned on the 9th day. Therefore, the final picture can be considered open.
The film Midsommar is not fantastic or fabulous: it refers to a very interesting human experience – the experience of pagan beliefs and rituals.
And yet, in all reviews and analysis of the film, it is noted that everything shown in the film is the fruit of the director’s fiction. It could be real, but it’s still not real.
The film shows fake Sweden: it was filmed in Hungary. The language that the inhabitants of Khorga periodically spoke is a fictitious language. That is, in a sense, Midsommar is an absolute abstraction that seems possible. And the boundary between the possible and the invented creates an axis of special tension.