Midsommar from Ari Aster is due to release in less than a month and after the film received it’s first screening last night, I thought I’d go and check out the movie’s script which was leaked online to break down everything you need to know about the film.
Throughout this, I’ll be discussing the big plot points of it as well as giving my take on the movie and what we will see in it.
This is full spoilers ahead and whilst leaks like this should always be taken with a grain of salt, the script seems fully fleshed out and is reportedly what was shot. After reading it, it all lines up with the trailer so I think this will be the final cut. If you don’t want anything ruined then I highly suggest that you turn off now because we are going into every aspect of the plot, including the movie’s ending.
With that out the way let’s get into my breakdown of Midsommar!
Midsommar Script Breakdown
The film opens with Dani, played by Florence Pugh, receiving a worrying email from her sister who has a long history of doing impulsive things due to her bipolar disorder.
The email reads ‘I can’t anymore – everything’s black – mom and dad are coming too. Goodbye’
This mysterious, alarming contact sets off a chain of events that leads to terrifying consequences for Dani and those around her and whilst it doesn’t really tie into the later plot it’s still a great way to start the story.
Early on the stakes rise quite a bit when Dani’s sister Terri is found in her parent’s house after having apparently killed them and herself and this loss of family becomes one of the main reasons that she’s drawn to the cult in the film.
Dani and Christian, her boyfriend, were having relationship difficulties and the latter planned to break things off due to the two wanting different things from life, however, Dani’s family’s death caused him to stay with her for six months on from the murders which is when the majority of the movie takes place.
Christian wants to get away to a quiet Yodelling festival that only happens every 90 years in Sweden known as Halsingland. This has been organised by their friend Pelle who is from the area and has left due to a pilgrimage that all the villagers take once they reach a certain age. Christian originally was planning on going with just his friends and minus Dani but after she guilt-trips him he allows her to come, much to his friend’s dismay.
Dani feels distant from Christian’s friends and she has several breakdowns every time her family is brought up by them. This seems to be a regular thing and they are constantly reminding her of the tragedy. Things slowly get stranger and strange as the group arrive and discover the cult that Pelle is originally from.
The Hargas Explained
These guys 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.
On the surface, they seem like a group of hippies that hand out magic mushrooms like it’s nothing, however as they begin to carry out their rituals it’s 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. They represent Natures Hermaphroditism and because of this, the men wear long dresses and so on. 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.
If something happens to the tree they view it as an attack on themselves and this plays into the film later.
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, though we don’t discover this fact till later in the film.
Something Is Very Wrong With This Place
It’s not just the villagers that are weird though, in general, there’s something very wrong with the place such as broad daylight at night and weird things happen to the area that the group finds difficult to tell apart the reality of.
They begin their ceremony to celebrate the Midsummer, a ritual that lasts 9 days and is headed up by the group’s matriarch, known as Siv. Unfortunately, the ritual which is sort of like a Groundhog Day thing, predicts bad omens. Whilst the group begin to slowly unearth the ins and outs of the camp.
This includes strange films that centre heavily around pregnancy and the suicide committed by the elders. There’s a lot more than this those are just the main one but in them they cover goddesses, rebirth, feeding trees to rivers, worshipping the sun and so on. Christian also states that he wants to write his thesis on the Hargas which annoys Josh who has the same idea.
Dani Doesn’t Like It Here
Now, this is about the midpoint of the script and things slowly ramp up until Dani wants to leave due to all the strange pagan worship that’s going on. However, Christian convinces her otherwise due to his project and she stays, though as we make it through the latter part of the story it becomes clear that she wouldn’t have been allowed to leave even if she’d wanted to.
This is cemented by two friends on the trip named Simon and Connie who want to leave after witnessing a mass animal sacrifice.
Whilst Connie is packing, Father Odd comes to tell her that Simon has already left but something seems well…odd about it, especially when Connie witnesses him being dragged into the woods.
Everyone is slowly turning against them especially after Mark breaks a tree tied to one of the villagers, named Ulf and his life.
The group also at this point learn about Ruben, a massively disabled boy who is seen as the towns oracle. They fail to find Simon and Josh sneaks into their sacred temple to take photos of their sacred text for his project known as the Rubi Radr.
It’s at this point that mark seemingly walks in the temple to see him, however, it’s Ulf wearing Marks skin and yeah….it’s about to get a little crazy. Josh is bludgeoned and the other members are put in weird situations.
Dani is drugged and made to dance around a maypole with others who all are dancing to till they collapse so that one can be crowned the queen. Christian is told that he has been approved to mate with one of the daughters of the Hargas which makes him go back and forth on whether he should cheat or not as he’s promised that Dani will never know and overall it’s clear the camp are manipulating them.
The girl he’s been chosen for has been flirting with him since their arrival and she’s described in the script as very attractive.
The May Queen
Dani wins the competition and is pronounced the May queen and she’s paraded through the field, unable to really fight back as people kiss her and adorn her with flowers.
She’s eventually lead to a throne at the head of the table where they force her to eat a Salt Herring and she hallucinates through the majority of it with flowers seemingly growing out of her feet and her body blending into things like a chameleon.
Christian too is tripping and an elder claps in his face which sends him into a downward spiral.
At this point, Dani is sent out to bless the crops and Christian is sent to make love to Maja, the girl that the elders have approved he mates with. He’s pretty stoned throughout and it’s one of the weirdest sex scenes I’ve ever read with old naked people standing around and smiling at him as he does it. One of them also rocks his hips back and forth and yeah, it’s weird.
Christian finishes and Maja begins to rock back and forth on her back saying ‘I can feel it, his life inside me’ and yup….just…..1 star on trip advisor.
Dani discovers this and begins crying and breaking down and mimicking her the other villagers start to too, almost in a tribal way.
Midsommar Ending Explained
Which is when Christian rushes out, vomits and then sees Josh chained to a fence with his abdomen cut open and covered in birdseed so that they would fly in and peck at his organs. To make things worse Josh is still alive and Christian slowly discovers the rest of the camp, all murdered in brutal ways.
He’s knocked out and awakens to find himself in a field the next day, ready to be sacrificed to the sun.
In total there are 9 sacrifices with a handful of villagers stepping forward and the 9th being decided by the May Queen.
She, of course, chooses Christian and all of the corpses and living people are escorted to a house that was previously off limits where they are stacked against the walls. Christian is put in a bear costume and the room, ladened with hay is set alight.
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.
So obviously there’s quite a lot to take from this and whilst the script is pretty great, when reading it I always had a niggling feeling that this will play out better on the big screen. Though I didn’t go massively into detail, the description of the location in Sweden, as well as some of the deaths, are really vivid and it’s really got me amped to see how they play out on screen.
This definitely has the potential to be the most unnerving movie of the year and if it follows in the footsteps of Hereditary which was my film of 2018, then we definitely have a lot to look forward to.