Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, and more.
Shout-out to my friends and viewing party whom of which we talked for an hour or so after watching this film, Jalen, Jason, Mike, Zach, Sydney, and Abby.
Alright, listen… This is going to be a work in progress because I do not know how to approach this review AT ALL. So, to fans of Darren Aronofsky, this film may be one that some have been anticipating for some time. To others, including myself, it may come as an under-the-radar film; little known and little expected. With that being said, ‘mother!’ was quite the experience and if there is anything I can say that I am glad I did, it was going into this movie with no previous knowledge. That is something I expect a large majority will do. Now without further delay, it is time for ‘mother!’ to get Oberrated.
“A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.”
Like… What? Okay, so again, I have no idea where to begin with this. So I guess I will just start with something I have been talking to my friends about; watching this film purely from the surface level. It is easy to come to this conclusion by film’s end: This film was a confusing atrocity. It made zero sense, it was brutal, it was simply hard to watch during many moments, it can even be considered pointless throughout a large majority of the film. With this being said, from the surface this film is easy to hate. It is simple to wonder “what the f*&$ is going on?” and even begin to pour out a desperate laugh because of the degree of speechlessness in reaction to all the moments happening within the film. I know that was definitely my reaction. With all of this, an instant thumbs down splashed with a bit… ok, a lot of anger is the common response to ‘mother!’. Go on any review site, IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Aunt Linda’s Facebook post – anywhere, you will see the majority say that this was one of the worst movies ever made and that “they want their money back” mehhhhh, mehhhhh, mehhhhh. God I hate that sentence. Anyway… This is the majority response, and while I can understand that response because I too reached that point, there is another layer… MANY layers… to this movie. If you are not a fan of movies that do this kind of thing and you are watching simply for what you experience on the surface or want to watch something for pure entertainment or scares, THIS MOVIE IS NOT FOR YOU.
Alright, surface level touched on. The majority response of this film is exposed and now we are on to other things, yeah? And those other things mean the deeper levels, yeah? Okay so, Aronofsky has his history of making movies that push the limit and force you to think. You experience something so off the wall but when you take a step back and try to interpret what he could possibly be presenting you, some may start to touch upon what these films mean. ‘mother!’ is no exception when it comes to deciphering what you have experienced and once you begin to decipher it, one comparison only goes deeper and deeper until you are stunned to what you possibly can make of this film and then you are left wondering if you really watched the same movie that lead you to these parallels. I will have a spoiler section farther past the end of this review to see the mess I became after finishing this film but without spoilers… ‘mother!’ is a film that will leave you a confused blithering and possibly angry mess once it is over. Although, after you have half composed yourself, take a step back and think of what it all could mean. Even look it up online if you can not come to a conclusion yourself. What I am trying to say is that this film was not meant to be a surface level movie. If you take it as such, you will be upset.
My last bit of The Oberrating is going to touch of the actual film elements because watching this film, it was easy to completely ignore them while this roller coaster ride to hell was happening. Acting: Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem were incredible. Lawrence played the hopeful dreamer desiring a loving relationship with everything she had. Bardem played the struggling writer with conviction. Bardem made me hate his character and that equates to a strong performance. Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer were notable standouts as well. Even with a limited cast, the extras within said limited cast have the possibility of being lackluster and that was not the case with these two. Score: The music as a whole was also phenomenal in the film. When it played, it was eerie as well as beautiful. It created a certain aura within the scenes that fit perfectly. Beyond the music, I also loved the lack of. There were plenty of moments where there was not music and this is something many other films should take note on. Dramatic and thrilling scenes are often bled dry due to the music playing behind the scene and it ruins the experience. ‘mother!’ hits the right moments with the right sounds to a T.
PLEASE READ…Shock Value: I am giving this part its own mini section. If this review gets you interested to see the film, I am slapping this part with a big fat disclaimer. ‘mother!’ has many moments where the shock value of said moments are through the roof. They will get people angry, they will not sit well with viewers, people will be disgusted with what they see. Okay, now you are sitting there grinning thinking, “Oh it can’t be that bad”. IT IS THAT BAD. If you are sensitive to taboo things that typically are not shown on screen, this movie will trigger your sensitivity. It takes said taboo moments that people do not dare to touch on in the entertainment world then throws them on the floor and curb stomps them into the ground. You have been warned.
What else can I possibly say? Listen, Darren Aronofsky has always made films that push the limit and demand thought. ‘mother!’ is no exception to this concept. Once again, if you thought this was a horror film or thought this would be a fun watch to knockout on discount Tuesday; you will highly disappointed. If you watch films and expect to understand them once they are over; If you want an easy watch; This is not for you. For everyone else that like unique movies or movies with much deeper meaning. ‘mother!’ is perfect for you. Going into the film, I had no idea what to expect. Throughout the film, I was a confused mess wondering what the hell was going on. The last fourth of the movie was a chaotic nuclear bomb of shocking moments and off-the-wall happenings which only threw me further into limbo. But by the end of the film, I walked with my friends, we went to the bar, had a couple beers and simply talked. We were a mess. We were confused. We were processing what we just viewed and that took a good while to process. Ultimately, by the end of the night, we were all in appreciation of this work. ‘mother!’ will be a film that many people will rate 1/10 and to some they will rate it 10/10. Make your own rating, but know that this film was not meant for surface watching.
Spoiler section farther down↓
I give this an 8 as I try to blend the film between creativity/quality with entertainment. Creativity/quality warrants a 10. Entertainment I would probably give it a 6. In a sense, you could say I am rating it with deeper-level watching vs. surface-level.
***SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILER SPOILERS***
When I make spoiler sections, you know the movie is crazy. Ok so… ‘mother!’… Obviously as previously stated, this film is meant to be viewed and interpreted. By no means is this a film meant for surface-level watching unless it is, who knows. Darren, hit me up and let me know. Anyway… This film is designed to be interpreted and after much conversation and research, my friends and I have come to a mostly agreed upon conclusion. ‘mother!’ was about mother nature or it was the story of the Bible, and/or it was even a blend of the both. For some quick examples but I would like you to draw the comparisons yourself if you watch… Ed Harris – Adam… Michelle Pfeiffer – Eve… Gleeson brothers – Cain and Abel… Bardem – God… Lawrence – Mother Earth/Virgin Mary… You get it. Even beyond this comparison. A few lines within the film were spoken between a fan and Javier Bardem’s character. The lines were roughly, “I feel like these words were meant for me” – Fan “That’s because they were.” – Bardem. I especially liked this exchange because after conversing with my friends and interpreting and making claims to what the movie could have meant. I found myself reflecting back to this exchange and it applying to us now. Although the exchange was within the film, it also applied to us as the viewers. That we could make this film into whatever we may interpret of it. Whether it is the Bible, whether it is Mother Nature, whether it is today’s society, whether it is a loosely based comparison of a toxic relationship with another person or even a thing. Or even whether it is just complete shit because you do not like the movie and do not want to think about it. To each their own. My last statement on ‘mother!’ is that it is a one-of-a-kind film. You do not see films take the risks that Aronofsky and all involved with ‘mother!’ have taken with this film.
Thanks for reading, guys. This was a hell of a review to do.