Darren Aronofsky, the unusual filmmaker behind the masterpieces of Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan, has made his most unusual film yet. In fact, mother! may be the most unique and bizarre movie since the filmmaking genius Stanley Kubrick sadly passed away in 1999. The problem with films like mother! is that sometimes it can be so strange to us, that it becomes unenjoyable for some and the most amazing cinematic experience for others.
Jennifer Lawrence plays Mother and Javier Bardem plays Him. They live together in an old, isolated house where they can start a paradise together and live their dreams. He is a poet looking to find the right words and the inspiration for them, while Mother enjoys fixing up the house to make it the way they both desire. Things start to get strange when a couple enters their house and invades their space. These two are played by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer and they are known to us as Man and Woman. Man is an enormous fan of Him’s poetry and desires his attention as he is sick and will not live much longer. Woman is basically a sassy frass who likes to stick her nose where it doesn’t belong, asking Mother uncomfortable and personal questions. Their lives are being invaded and Mother’s life begin to spiral into chaos, leading to unfortunate and horrifying events. A further explanation of the plot would ruin the film, but below this review is a spoiler analysis. If you have seen the movie and would like an interpretation of what you just saw, then check it out.
Aronofsky’s directing is genius and the way he wrote his characters makes us wonder what this film is all about. It is not easy to figure out, but it’s one of those films that can be analyzed for days. The entire film is full of bizarre and terrifying imagery that will puzzle you, but don’t forget, there IS a point to it. This film does mean something even though it can be seen as chaotic nonsense. The film gets more intense as it goes and becomes more distressing and disturbing. With Aronofsky’s brilliant direction and Jennifer Lawrence’s stunning performance, you can really feel Mother’s stress and anxiety as she experiences the increasingly strange phenomena that abruptly entered her seemingly normal life.
It is difficult to classify this film as Horror or not. While it is terrifying and will take something from your soul, it is also a mysterious allegory at the same time. Aronofsky had some clear influence for this film, one of them being Roman Polanski’s psychological horror masterpiece, Rosemary’s Baby. The creepy older couple invading their space is the main giveaway, but the ending of the film closely resembles parts of Rosemary’s Baby, while not stealing anything from it.
mother! is not even close to being a film for everyone. Many people despise it, calling it the worse film they’ve seen in years. This is understandable due to its confusing and disturbing nature, but it is a film that is worth the try. When you really look into it and discover its purpose, it will blow you away.
Overall Grade: A