Beau is Afraid: what we expect from the new film by Ari Aster

What to expect from Beau is Afraid? The film that sees Ari Aster back on the big screen is mysterious, but some elements help us better understand the content of the project.

Beau is Afraid: what we expect from the new film by Ari Aster

Beau is Afraid is one of those feature films that does not go unnoticed at all, primarily because one of the most ambitious and talented cinematic voices of today is involved, Ari Aster (Hereditary – The roots of evil, Midsummar); secondly because it has all the credentials to become a media phenomenon. Regardless of the quality (which obviously has yet to be evaluated), the content of the film is so enigmatic that it is talked about, with already so much speculation about it. Precisely for this reason it is advisable to do some analysis on the subject, bearing in mind that we do not yet have enough details to go without fail. Starting from what we have in hand Beau is Afraidi.e. the posters and the recent trailer, as well as basing ourselves on the author’s filmography, let’s try to imagine what we will see in the work, which we remember does not yet have an official release date in Italy (in the United States it will be distributed in April 2023).

A very significant title

Beau Is Afraid 1

Beau Is Afraid: a scene from the film

Beau is Afraid or “Beau is afraid”: the title of the feature film leads the viewer to many questions right from the beginning. At first it is natural to wonder what kind of fear we are referring to, if it is an existential problem or more an ancestral terror of which he has no control (knowing Aster it could be both cases). In addition to this, the second question that comes to mind is what the protagonist is frightened of, whether by supernatural entities or if, on the contrary, there are physical manifestations that threaten him. Seeing the trailer, the answer to this last question is not so simple, but what is clear is that Beau is caged in his psyche that may have played tricks on him. One thing is certain: this title is not accidental, even more so because there was a last-minute change (previously it was called Disappointment Blvd) and central to the story could be this cathartic journey of the protagonist.

Hereditary, director Ari Aster: “I make fun of American bigotry”

A surreal and irreverent horror

Beau Is Afraid 4

Beau Is Afraid: a scene from the film

From the first details regarding the synopsis of the feature film, the story has been described as follows: “A paranoid man embarks on an epic odyssey to get home to his mother in this bold and ingeniously depraved new film from writer/director Ari Aster”. Nothing particularly new or unexpected so far, since that’s exactly what we see in the trailer, but there are two more elements to add that help us better understand the tone of the film. In the first instance, in 2020 Aster himself defined his project as one “nightmare comedy”, a nightmarish comedy, consequently it is reasonable to expect irreverent infiltrations within the plot. Among other things, the protagonist of the work, Beau, directly takes up a short film of the same name by the author where a man, who is about to leave to find his mother, returns home because he has forgotten her keys, but can’t find them anymore . From here begins a surreal trip with altered spaces and totally distorted perceptions. Is it the same with the new movie?

A discontinuous and fragmented journey

Beau Is Afraid Ver2

Beau Is Afraid poster

Speaking instead of posters Of Beau is Afraid, we can see that the protagonist is represented in 4 different moments of his life: as a young man, as an adult in an apparently healthy state, always as an adult but in a deteriorated state of mind and finally as an old man. Seen from this point of view it would seem a simple story of the life of a man who has had a strong psychological trauma, were it not for the trailer that adds a further element to this narrative construction. From what can be seen from the video, in fact, the plot will not be easy to interpret at all and in addition to there being time jumps, the narration seems to follow a confused line in a similar way to what we saw in I’m thinking of ending it here by Charlie Kaufman where past, present and future meet in an overwhelming and chaotic way without an apparent sense. It could be that everything is linear up until Beau’s accident and everything is messed up after that.

An amazing interpretation of Phoenix

Beau Is Afraid 2

Beau Is Afraid: a scene from the film

Joaquin Phoenix is a masterful actor with a career studded with great performances, but only starting from Gladiator (2000) by Ridley Scott the star began to be noticed by the public and critics. That said, despite participating in films of the caliber of Buffalo Soldiers (2001), Signs (2002), The forces of fate (2003), When love burns the soul (2005), only recently obtained the unanimous consent of viewers and journalists sealed by his victory at the Oscars, in 2020, for his interpretation of Arthur Fleck in Joker. Precisely for this reason, in Beau is Afraid we expect a great acting performance from her, also considering her experience with psychologically unstable characters. Just think about Joker it’s at The master (2012) by Paul Thomas Anderson, in particular, where Phoenix meticulously worked on his physicality and gestures, effectively transforming himself into a mental patient.

Joaquin Phoenix: the best films of the actor

Attention to detail and background

Beau Is Afraid 1

Beau Is Afraid: a scene from the film

Finally, it should be remembered how much attention Ari Aster paid to background of his previous films, Hereditary – The roots of evil and Midsommar – The village of the damned, where a research and an accurate study regarding myths, legends and popular folklore transpire. All characteristics that seem not to be present in the new feature film, which in any case could be another perfect opportunity to demonstrate his attention to detail. In this context, the filmmaker will certainly have explored, with interviews and readings, what the symptoms of mental patients are, dedicating himself in particular to the hallucinatory state that in some cases occurs in patients. Seasoning it all with a little imagination and quotations (The Wizard of Oz seems to be one of the most massive sources of inspiration) the result can only be interesting. It is yet to be seen, concretely, whether the author has managed to dose the various imaginative sequences intelligently, but we are hopeful and optimistic.

Beau is Afraid: what we expect from the new film by Ari Aster