Film Review: “Mother!”

DENAE RABINETTE

Mother!
Dir. by Darren Aronofsky
Released Sept. 15, 2017

“Mother!”, Darren Aronofsky’s latest daring film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, is, without a doubt, not for everyone. With a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes, critics seem to be conflicted. If you are going into the movie theater expecting a jump-scaring horror flick, prepare to be disappointed. “Mother!” will force you to think, and you will leave the theater questioning what it all means. You will almost definitely be shocked as the fast paced movie takes multiple unexpected and, frankly, disturbing twists and turns.

Lawrence’s character diligently serves her husband throughout the film’s development and, however reluctantly, welcomes the guests he brings into the home. However, the more people arrive, the more of the home that the Mother tirelessly rebuilt on her own is destroyed. This can be interpreted as a reference to overpopulation and the depletion of natural resources. The events leading up to a most unexpected climax perhaps represent mankind abusing the Earth until she has no more left to provide. In fact, Lawrence’s character even tells her husband directly when things get overwhelming, “I have no more left to give.”

The film that has confused and baffled many may be more than a simple psychological-thriller. Many interpret “Mother!” as an allegory to the relationship between God and Mother Earth through Lawrence and Bardem’s characters. Subtle biblical references to the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and even the birth of Christ (and the consumption of the body of Christ – in an all too literal version of the eucharist) will leave you contemplating what Aronofsky’s intentions truly were in making this film.

Every individual can interpret the film’s meaning for themselves, which may be one of the most incredible things about it. Despite the strangeness of it, the film is undoubtedly incredibly beautiful throughout. The isolation of the characters’ home is portrayed perfectly, and gives the movie an eerie sense of helplessness. The action is absolutely mind-boggling and although this is not a typical horror film by any means, it will still leave your heart pounding. “Mother!” will challenge you, horrify you, make you laugh, and make you cry. After it is over, it is up to you to decide what it all means.

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