Joaquin Phoenix, the Academy Award-winning actor, has recently warned his fans not to watch his new movie, Beau Is Afraid, while under the influence of hallucinogenic substances. In an interview with Fandango, Phoenix stated that he doesn't think anyone should take magic mushrooms before seeing the film, which he described as "a visceral experience."
The movie, directed by Ari Aster, is the story of Beau, a deeply anxious individual played by Phoenix, who embarks on a phantasmagorical quest during a trip to visit his mother. The film's bold and unapologetic portrayal of anxiety has earned praise from critics, who have also noted its refusal to pull punches.
However, even Phoenix himself admits to feeling viscerally anxious while watching the finished product, despite working on the film for months and seeing how all of the scariest scenes were filmed. He encouraged audiences to take care of their mental health while watching the film and reiterated his warning against taking hallucinogenic substances beforehand.
"I was told from someone in college that there was this college thread amongst friends, a challenge they were going to take mushrooms and go see this movie," Phoenix said. "And I just wanted to make a public service announcement and say do not take mushrooms and go see this f---ing movie. But if you do it, film yourself. But don't do it!"
The movie's three-hour runtime and deeply unsettling themes have left some viewers and cast members scratching their heads. Richard Kind, who plays Mona's lawyer in the film, when asked about his thoughts on the movie, responded, "I have no idea! What did I think of the movie? Who the hell knows! But I loved it."
Whether or not you choose to heed Phoenix's warning, Beau Is Afraid is now playing in theaters nationwide and is sure to be a conversation starter among film fans and critics alike.
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