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Review – Beau is Afraid
Our student write Hayley is back with a review of Beau is Afraid.
Beau is Afraid is the 3rd feature length film directed by Ari Aster (Hereditary, Midsommar) It stars Joaquin Phoenix as Beau who is trying to get back to his mother’s funeral. To go into more of the plot would take away from the experience of watching the film. Its definitely the most bonkers film I have seen but in the best way possible. Aster has created a psychedelic, psychological, horror comedy that stays with you long after you leave the cinema. Mainly as you will be asking what the hell just happened. I can see it being a film you will need to watch more and more to see all the little details.
Beau is Afraid feels very different to Aster’s other work. It doesn’t have a cult/folk feel to it. I’m excited to see where he goes from here, whether that be exploring horror or other genres.
Beau Is Afraid feels like something between a person’s fever dream and a breakdown due to grief. These themes change throughout the film, it definitely keeps you on your toes. No matter how many times the themes change throughout, there is a level of care and passion throughout that can be felt. Aster has created a world that has no limits to the imagination.
The standout performance for me was of course Joaquin Phoenix himself. He makes you sympathise with Beau and want to follow his journey. All you want for him is to get back home. The people he meets along the way feel like villains from other horror masterpieces. Such as Nathan Lane in an almost Misery kind of tale. This is his first foray into horror and I hope it isn’t his last.
The visuals on screen are just wow!! You get taken away to different places through Beau’s imagination. To me that’s where the horror comes from. Aster has taken the format that what we see in our minds is always scarier than what we see on screen. Seeing the different places Beau goes to in his mind and how they play out is a great way of showing horror in a very subtle way. You’re never quite sure what’s gonna happen or see next. The ending comes out of nowhere but to be honest I wouldn’t expect anything less from Aster. Being nearly 3 hours long it does have slow moments, but never feels like a slog or a chore to get through. Sitting in the cinema it felt like no time had passed. It was a film I had been desperately waiting for, for a couple of years. I wasn’t disappointed at all. If anything I’d say it was better than I was expecting. it’s definitely a film going in knowing as little as possible and expecting the unexpected.
If any of you saw it, did you enjoy it?
Have you seen Ari Aster’s other film?
Did you enjoy those too?
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