The new movie from Hereditary and Midsommar director Ari Aster, and what do you know, it’s indeed quite the intriguing piece of cinema.
Heck, i’d go further and say this one is quite the experience, and definitely something you’ve never seen before, not this way or with this imagery or themes, as Aster goes fuckin insane by delivering a surreal kafkian odyssey out of a very simple and – on its face – thin premise: a man named Beau (Joaquin Phoenix) with a troubled relationship with his mother is set to do his yearly visit home for the anniversary of his father’s death.
Then he learns of her dying in a horrible accident too and scrambles, shame he lives in what could be classified as “Kafkian suburban slums”, with naked murderers, tattooed man with black reptilian eyes, and crazied hobos.
Not that the world outside it’s better, as Beau is trapped in an eternal super short-circuit of grotesque weirdos accusing, manipulating or threatening him in ways meant to fuel the Kafkian uroborous, as Beau it’s guilt tripped into everything by everyone, while he stews in the “damned if i do, damned if i don’t” miserable state of existence, getting involved in weirder and increasingly surreal scenarios as his adventure unfolds from just him wanting to come back home.
It’s all so absurdly grotesque, preposterous and outlandish in the peak of weirds the movie reaches, definitely making you wanna see what the hell could ever happen next, but even with Joaquin Phoenix being incredible as usual, the deliberate slow pace and excess of…. well, everything, those take a toll on the movie, which ends up feeling too long and repetitive.
But still, even flawed as it is, Beau Is Afraid remains a movie that has to be seen to be believed.