Midsommar is now out for worldwide release and throughout this article I’ll be breaking down everything that you need to know about the film and it’s ending.
If you’ve been following the website closely then you’ll know that last month I did a full breakdown of the movie’s script and in this post, I’ll also be recapping some of the insight that it offers about the movie and its characters.
This is full spoilers ahead so if you haven’t seen the movie yet and don’t want to know anything about it then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way let’s get into my breakdown of Midsommar!
Midsommar Plot Recap
At its core, Midsommar is a film about the breakdown of a toxic relationship that just so happens to be set against terrifying circumstances. We follow Dani, played expertly by Florence Pugh, who after the loss of her family due to a heartbreaking tragedy, finds herself alone with no one to turn to other than her Boyfriend Christian.
Christian was planning on breaking up with Dani, however, due to the guilt that he feels over her loss and the eventual guilt of isolation that she puts on him he postpones it and invites her on a trip to Halsingland, a Swedish festival that only happens once every 90 years.
Dani throughout the film goes on an arc that is pretty much caused by the loss of her family and during the film she drifts from group to group, desperately seeking acceptance no matter the cost to those around her.
One thing that you have to understand about the character and her motives is that she is deep down, a person that because of the heavy loss in her life, clings to any attention that comes towards her no matter how negative it may be. She is just as guilty as Christian is for committing to their relationship when both know that it is simply not working and this also adds weight to why the film ends the way it does.
Anyway as the group arrives at Halsingland they discover a place that like Dani and Christian’s relationship, seems picture perfect on the surface but is hiding a lot of secrets and so on. The Hargas, who Dani eventually ends up turning to come across as kind and welcoming people, deep down similar to Christian, have their own Agenda.
The Hargas Explained
In the script, the Hargas are basically the product of generations of incest that hang Boar Carcasses from branches and look like 19th-century farmers that spend most of their time dancing around the Maypole.
Though they seem like a group of hippies that hand out magic mushrooms like it’s nothing, eventually their way of life and the rituals that they begin to carry out make it clear that things aren’t right. They far outnumber the group and this makes them intimidating as they slowly start to pick everyone apart.
The Hargas as they’re known, communicate through little gestures and expressions known as Affects which hint at their true intentions without notifying others and early on these slight language barriers highlight that this is all an act for them. Every time one Hargan is born the group plant a tree that is apparently tied directly to their life and as it grows, they do too. Their affection for the Earth plays into the film later and they almost live their life purely based off nature alone.
The Hargas view their lives as seasons, with spring being their childhood and summer their young adulthood in which they go on a pilgrimage. They then return after 32 to be an elder of the camp for autumn and commit suicide when turning 72 by jumping off a cliff which is one of the film’s most shocking moments.
Midsommar Themes Explained
There is a strong theme of pregnancy laced throughout the film as well as forced death which is similar to how Dani found herself in such a tragic situation through the loss of her family and throughout this is a message of out with the old and in with the new which can itself be viewed as the ending of one relationship in order to take on another.
Dani at some points even struggles with this detachment and though she wants to leave Halsingland but is unable to due to one circumstance or another which is of course eerily similar to how she refuses to leave her relationship with Christian even though it’s definitely for the best that she does.
She’s reminded by instance such as Simon and Connie who themselves attempt to leave and due to this find themselves in worse of positions that leaving your comfort zone can often have dire consequences and this metaphorically showcases why she is hesitant to break things off with Christian.
It’s only when she sees first hand due to Christian sleeping with one of the local girls that things simply aren’t going to work out. I, as I’m sure many of you watching, have been in similar circumstances relationship wise where though we may have not been cheated on, we still were unwilling to accept just how bad things really were until they were staring us in the face. Dani has to deal with this and it is pretty much the last straw, excuse the pun, for her to break things off and look for something else.
Midsommar Hidden Meaning
We All Wear Masks when it comes to dealing with others and the dichotamy of Christian’s true feelings juxtaposed with the way that he acts towards Dani show that duality in his motives. There is always something going on beneath the surface and this is further exemplified by the duality of the Festival and most Notably when Ulf wears Mark’s skin later in the movie.
Dani herself is made to dance around the Maypole and similar to her relationship seems happy though there is subtext laced through that she is breaking inside because she is just so exhausted by the continual circle that she is going in both literally during the dance and figuratively in her life with Christian. Neither is willing to break it off till after this moment when Dani wins which shows that she had finally broken the circle of the toxic relationships.
Midsommar Ending Explained
In the end, she is pronounced the Queen, but unlike Game Of Thrones, this Dani sticks around. After being paraded through the field, kissed and adorned with flowers she is finally ready to cut off the negative aspects of her life and join her new family.
Symbolically the burning of Christian and his friends in the final sacrifice showcase that she is letting go of all the things that have held her back and is ready to move on from the things in her life that are holding her back.
For the finale, we watch as Christian melts into the fire and Dani is paraded as the new queen. She goes through a mix of emotions including excitement, fear, confusion but ultimately she’s happy, happy that she finally has a new family and is accepted. The character has gone insane but in her mind, she is a queen, worshipped by all and finally living a life free of paranoia and distrust which ends the film.
Whilst this could be taken as a happy ending for the character, sadly she is once again in a situation that seems like it is the best thing for her but will ultimately end up pushing her further off the deep end. Her desperation to gain affection without questioning whether it is really worth it again has placed her into a situation of dependency that will not strengthen her beyond how she was with Christian. As Dani has not learned to be strong on her own and is still reliant on others for happiness she will therefore not build a foundation within herself in which she can live without approval from outside sources.
It’s a brilliant, tragic end that serves as a warning that if you’re going to jump from relationship to relationship without working on yourself first then you’re always bound to repeat the things that ultimately lead to your downfall….or it’s just another Wickerman Rip off that has no value, you decide but I think most of us know there’s a lot more to it than some critics are ultimately giving it credit for.
So what did I think of the film? Well as I’m sure you can guess I think this again is another masterpiece by Ari Aster that yet again cements the director as one of the best voices in horror that we currently have. This shows that things like the Conjuring Universe, which in my opinion have dumbed down horror a bit, aren’t to be taken as this decades example of the genre and though I don’t think that this topped Hereditary it still is horrifying.
Midsommar is haunting from beginning to end and it’s use of vibracy and over the top colour is what makes it so unnerving. The idyllic setting shows that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and that everything has a dark side to it which is a constant in life that we have to agree with.
Midsommar is as spellbinding as it is horrific and some of the gore really stands out here purely due to just how picturesque everything in the movie seems.
There’s really very little to fault about the film and whilst it has got a pretty long run time, it’s still outstanding to behold. I can see lots of people wanting to book trips to Maypole festivals next year purely off this film alone and it’s a really unique take on a genre that has become pretty comfortable with just piling movies with lazy jump scares and moronic characters.
When reading the script before I ever saw the film I was really curious to see how this would play out on screen and it doesn’t disappoint.
Midsommar goes beneath the surface of human emotion and delivers a wholly satisfying scarefest that will stay with you long after you leave the theatre and that’s why it gets a….