Beau is Afraird Review: In Joaquin Phoenix’s stunning performance as Beau Wassermann, the titular character in Ari Aster’s latest film, “Beau Is Afraid,” he fearlessly dives into a role that leaves nothing to the imagination. Living next door to a seedy peep show emporium called Ejectus Erectus, Beau’s abnormally distended testicles become a cause for concern, among other indications that this troubled character is in desperate need of release. Let us find out about the “Beau is Afraid” review.
Clocking in at three hours, “Beau Is Afraid” takes viewers on a wild and twisted odyssey that defies genre conventions. While it shares the diabolical imagination of Aster’s previous films, “Hereditary” and “Midsommar,” this latest offering takes a departure into the more daring and adventurous territory. Trading nerve-shredding horror for maniacal dark comedy, the film is a whirlwind of Oedipal angst, paranoia, and confusion that only a director with established auteur credentials could pull off.
The film pays homage to Martin Scorsese’s “After Hours” in its opening scenes, before veering into Charlie Kaufman-esque territory with a splash of Cronenbergian grotesquerie. However, unlike Aster’s previous works, “Beau Is Afraid” relies more on headspace than gut-churning dread, fueled by anxiety rather than outright terror. This may temper its appeal to hardcore horror fans, but for those who appreciate outré excess and unconventional storytelling, it demands to be seen.
Beau is Afraid Storyline
At the heart of the film is the strained dynamic between Beau and his mother, Mona, established from the very beginning with a birth scene that sets the tone for the film’s off-kilter humor. As a middle-aged man mired in misery, Beau seeks solace from his therapist, but his impending visit to his mother on the anniversary of his father’s death only serves to heighten his anxieties. The portrayal of their relationship, both in present-day interactions and flashbacks, is masterfully depicted, with Patti LuPone’s flat responses and deafening silences leaving no doubt of the strained rapport between mother and son.
As Beau navigates a series of obstacles, from a chaotic and violent cityscape to seemingly tranquil suburbia, where he finds temporary refuge with surgeon Roger and his wife Grace, played by Nathan Lane and Amy Ryan respectively, the film takes unexpected turns. However, danger and turmoil seem to follow Beau wherever he goes, and his journey to prove his mother wrong becomes increasingly fraught with peril.
With stunning visuals captured by Aster’s regular cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski, including a virtuoso tracking sequence through the chaotic city streets, “Beau Is Afraid” is a visually captivating and emotionally intense experience. The film’s pacing may be uneven at times, and its genre-defying nature may challenge traditional expectations, but it is undeniably a film that pushes boundaries and takes risks, showcasing Aster’s distinctive directorial style and his ability to create compelling and unforgettable characters.
In summary, “Beau Is Afraid” is a film that defies easy categorization, blending elements of dark comedy, horror, and drama in a way that is both audacious and captivating. Joaquin Phoenix’s powerhouse performance as Beau, supported by a talented cast, brings the character to life with astonishing intensity. Aster’s unique directorial vision is on full display, with striking visuals and unconventional storytelling that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. While its pacing may be uneven and its genre-bending approach may challenge traditional expectations, “Beau Is Afraid” is a film that leaves a lasting impression and is a must-watch for fans of daring and provocative cinema.