The Blu-ray release of Beau Is Afraid, directed by Ari Aster and starring Joaquin Phoenix, offers viewers the opportunity to revisit the film and appreciate its wild and disjointed nature. Although the film received mixed reactions upon its theatrical release, multiple viewings on Blu-ray allow for a deeper understanding and enjoyment of the film.
Beau Is Afraid can be described as four films in one, with each section offering a different experience for the audience. The opening section takes place in a dystopian city and serves as a continuation of Aster’s original Beau short film from 2011. The second section, featuring Nathan Lane as a supportive stepfather figure, provides the funniest performance of the movie. The extended play sequence may drag a bit, but the set design is visually impressive. The final act of the film is the most ridiculous, featuring a humorous sex scene and a divisive reveal that may not work for everyone, but is sure to elicit laughter.
Throughout the film’s three-hour runtime, Joaquin Phoenix delivers a stellar performance that keeps viewers invested. His portrayal of the titular character is charming and peculiar, and it’s difficult to imagine the film with anyone else in the role. Phoenix truly embodies the character’s quirks and brings a level of charisma to the film.
The Blu-ray release includes a 15-minute featurette titled “Finally Home: Making Beau Is Afraid,” which provides insight into the creative vision of Ari Aster and features notable quotes from Aster and Nathan Lane. It is recommended to watch this featurette after viewing the film, as it contains spoilers. While the featurette offers some glimpses into Aster’s creative process, some viewers may have preferred a commentary track to further explore the film’s dense layers.
Overall, Beau Is Afraid may be greater than the sum of its parts. It is an unforgettable journey that may not fully come together, but it solidifies Ari Aster as an interesting and daring filmmaker. Joaquin Phoenix’s performance adds to the film’s weird and wonderful nature, making it an unforgettable experience. While it may not be for everyone, it is a film that viewers may find themselves revisiting every few years.
Disclosure: ComingSoon received a copy of the Beau Is Afraid Blu-ray for review from the publisher.