Beau Is Afraid: A closer look

Beau Is Afraid: A closer look

In Beau Is Afraid, Joaquin Phoenix portrays a young man who abruptly stops maturing and merely ages into a graying body. Phoenix keeps his mouth small when speaking as if he were still a baby sucking, and his voice becomes extremely weak. His usually fierce-looking eyes have never seemed so gentle. His personality will turn out to be too pure for this cruel world. What happens next is both Beau’s worst nightmare and his ultimate fate.

Being doomed from the start, “Beau Is Afraid” is an all-encompassing dream rife with mommy issues. It’s the funniest Aster has ever made and an excellent film for days when you are not placing an Asia Bet.

Beau, the film’s protagonist, is a prototypical Aster hero; he struggles to survive in a terrible setting that production designer Fiona Crombie has painstakingly realized. People fight in the street, make suicide threats, and find dead bodies regularly in the downtown area where Beau resides. It’s a musical in the style of Busby Berkeley, with the dance of horror, destruction, and death.

This setting up of Beau’s world is like a furious prelude to the monumental worries we’ll witness in the present and flashbacks later on: a lack of privacy, the worry of never being able to please people, and the difficulty of recurrent bad luck. A disgruntled neighbor keeps handing him notes telling him to turn the sound down, although he silently observes, and Aster’s brutal sense of comedy draws you in.

The first act is fast-paced and exciting, with a laugh rather than a scream feel, setting up a pattern of tension that the film isn’t careful about maintaining. Nothing will go as smoothly from now on, and that lack of consistency may cause confusion.

Beau’s mother, Mona Wassermann, whose initials are imprinted on a fancy emblem that can be found on practically every item in his rundown flat, is the source of the most anxiety in his life. Patti LuPone’s phone performance as the supervillain Mona is exquisitely venomous, and her ability to make Beau feel insignificant is a significant source of stress.

“I trust you’ll do the right thing,” Joaquin Phoenix‘s character’s mother adds, highlighting their gut-wrenching interaction. After inadvertently missing his flight to see her (the details are complicated), he calls her to express his deep regret and humiliation. In place of free will, he has an ingrained need to please his mother. Particularly moving are the extended close-ups of Beau as he struggles to keep it together over the phone after receiving devastating news about his mother.

The third act, “Beau Is Afraid,” fully realizes its potential as an exploitation picture based on a therapist’s journal. It’s a Mariah Carey song set to the emotional and psychological anguish associated with a Grand Guignol play, complete with moments of dread, jaw-dropping cartoonish insanity, and an uneasy mix of the past and the present.

Beau is Afraid may have a few irregularities when it comes to transitions from scene to scene, but the beauty of the story isn’t lost in all this. Aster outdid himself with this one, and it’s worth seeing.

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