Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Produced by: Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin, Ari Handel
Written by: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer.
Like an introvert’s worst nightmare, Mother! invades the personal space of wife/mother (Jennifer Lawrence) sharing an isolated house with her writer husband/Him (Javier Bardem), who disregards her safety and security, allowing strangers (man/woman (Ed Harris/Michelle
Pfeiffer)) into their home.
From the beginning of the film, there’s mystery surrounding the couple. Living in the family home of Him that was once destroyed by fire – his wife rebuilds as he struggles to write
The house itself is shown as a living entity that absorbs the emotions of mother, as her world is slowly destroyed.
But the film goes deeper than mere loss of control – there’s religious overtones and narcissism, heart-break, sickness and the sense that the entire world has gone crazy, adding to her loss and further annihilation as her husband steps away to come back only to step away again.
Writing and directing, Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan (2010), Noah (2014), Requiem for a Dream (2000)) has given us something surreal where certain elements will illuminate to some whereas other threads will resonate with others.
It’s a complicated storyline and I think the success lies with Aronofsky writing and directing. In comparison, the script of the hugely successful, Black Swan was far more straightforward, his direction adding that otherworldly thread, yet, here he’s been given control over his own writing, allowing a further exploration into the surreal.
Strong performances from the cast allow Aronofsky to delve deep into the strange as the characters are believable: a husband seeming to love and understand, yet, still allowing the nightmare to happen translated through the performances of Lawrence and Bardem.
Mother! is unique and disturbing and thought-provoking and surprisingly insightful into the female psyche. The want to be alone with a partner and not having to share the sacred space is just one of the themes that struck a chord.
Psychological horrors/mysteries don’t always satisfy the audience with a conclusion. Yet, I felt Mother! gave some sort of ending, tying off most of the loose pieces.
Through all that strangeness and confrontation where the audience is taken through the increasing nightmare of mother’s existence, the story manages to come full circle.
So, although not an enjoyable experience I found the film successfully scratched at the surface of our existence.
I’m glad I watched the film as it was certainly worth seeing, once. You have to see Mother! to believe the bizarre nature of the film. But not an experience I’ll repeat.