The marketing for “mother!” has certainly been interesting. While very little of the plot had been revealed, the film also strived to be mysterious, terrifying and of course intriguing. I can back up this fact with this evidence – a cake that landed on the Moviehole office doorstep last week to promote the film. Mmm tasty heart.
Unsurprisingly therefore, i went in to see “mother!” with fairly virginal eyes. The film kicks off with a burned house fixing itself before our eyes, following a beautiful glass diamond being placed in a holder. Jennifer Lawrence (cast as the character called Mother- let’s be clear here, no names are said during the film so I’m hereforth referencing them as the credits do) has the first piece of dialogue, waking up alone in a Queen sized bed and questioning, “baby?”. Mother and Him (Javier Bardem) live in a gigantic mansion, way too big for two people but nevertheless the home of the two protagonists. When a stranger (Ed Harris) knocks at the door, seemingly lost, the man of the house welcomes Man with open arms and invites him to stay.
And thus begins the 2 hour mindfuck. It’s soon discovered that the stranger is by no means a chance encounter, as he has appeared for the chance to meet Him, who is a famous poet by trade. Things get weird when Man reveals he’s sick and dying, then his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) shows up and makes herself a little too much at home, and Mother frustratingly never speaks her mind but merely goes along with it all to please her older husband. Throughout the story, more strangers show up, a heartbeat appears in the walls and human organs reveal themselves out of the toilet.
“mother!” is one of those movies that’s one big Lynch-fest that really needs to be seen to understand WTF is going on. Darren Aronofsky uses the film as a big metaphor for religion, and how it breeds conflict as all the people are worshipping one figure, but somehow still starting wars. It’s also incredibly confronting, and some of the subject matter is deeply disturbing to say the least, which will not doubt divide viewers on their opinion of the film as a whole. I dare say Aronofsky fans will get on board, and others that don’t like to be spoon-fed plot lines and the meaning behind them.
“mother!” is also quite long, and it will take you til the very end to draw conclusions on what is happening and who everyone is. Be prepared for half an hour of watching the movie through your fingers too, as I will reiterate – it’s deeply disturbing and confronting!! Aronofsky takes no shortcuts and does not sugarcoat what’s really happening.
So who’s this film going to appeal to? You’re either going to love it, or hate it. The grey area for enjoyment here doesn’t exist. It’ll appeal to Aronofsky and Lynch fans alike, and those who like a movie that encourages you to reach your own conclusions and think about the current political state of the world. Those who enjoy a good horror may be disappointed, but in saying that “mother!” embodies the horror-psychological-thriller genre very effectively and certainly provides the audience with the aforementioned themes. “mother!” is overall an original, thought-provoking film with solid acting performances and while the subject matter is a tough nut to swallow, it’s also very brave. And I can guarantee, it’s more disturbing than THAT poster.