Ari Aster Sees Midsommar As A Big ‘Breakup Opera’

In a 2019 interview with Vox, Ari Aster discussed the dramatic side of “Midsommar,” going as far as to declare it “a breakup opera.” The film is not a literal opera, of course, but the shared sense of melodrama is apparent to Aster:

I’ve been to the opera a few times. I think my way into the concept of what an opera is, is that I love melodrama in film. That’s what I’m drawn to, in movies. I love melodrama — the operative word being ‘melos,’ right? Like, finding the music in the drama. Treating it as music.”

As Aster implied, “Midsommar” sings when it centers the overarching narrative on a doomed romance tale. The folk mythology surrounding their hosts serves as the catalysts for the relationship’s demise, a breakup tale that does not break the mold but embraces the tropes of the genre. It’s clear that things won’t work out for Dani and Christian, but that does not stop “Midsommar” from playing into expectations. The combination of different genres is what makes the film a worthy exploration of an overdone topic.

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