Review: 'Beau is Afraid' a surreal flick - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Review: 'Beau is Afraid' a surreal flick

Beau is Afraid

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Abby Cowels

Four out of Five Stars

By Abby Cowels
Staff Writer

“Beau is Afraid,” described as a tragicomedy/horror film, embarks on the chaotic journey of a middle-aged man on his way to his mother’s funeral.

This 2023 movie can be found streaming on Apple TV, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video.

Written and directed by Ari Aster (“Midsommar,” 2019), the film starts with anxiety ridden Beau (Joaquin Phoenix), whose paranoia and hypochondria has made him a recluse.

For poor Beau, it seems he cannot avoid being put into hilarious and also terrible circumstances.

As if no control over his life, he is thrown into a surrealist nightmare, becoming muddled with his current reality and tragic past.

As the film moves forward, with what felt like five separate stories, the paranoia deepens as Beau begins to feel the series of events is being manipulated by the people he trusts most.

At is core, the film revolves around a dysfunctional relationship with his mother. He finds himself torn between his own suffering and the guilt his mother puts on him regarding the death of his father.

Between laughing through tears and feeling deep sympathy for the pathetic man lies the horror of having so little control over one’s life. It feels as if fate is playing a cruel game, only to find that no one in this life is who they say they are.

The imagery plays on absurdities and contrasts of unsafe dark places and squeaky-clean suburbs, and turns to disorienting abstract storytelling.

This film is a commitment at its two hour and 59 minutes running time, but is entirely worth the experience.



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