“Mother!” – Movie Review

The new thriller from writer/director Darren Aronofsky. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer.


Official movie poster for, “Mother!”. Produced by Paramount Pictures.

Jarod Borem, Managing Editor

Mother! is the newest film from writer/director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), and tells the “story” of a married couple, played by Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, whose lives are forever changed when an uninvited couple seeks shelter in their home. Never could I recall a time a film so repulsive, grotesque, and flat out disturbing received a wide release by a major studio like Paramount Pictures. The film has been garnering lots of criticism for its ravenous attacks at Christianity which has, and most likely will, upset many viewers and should be known prior before seeing. It’s a shame the marketing team behind the film has been promoting it as an unnerving and groundbreaking horror film when in reality, it is a two hour commentary on how the human race consists of savage creatures who are bent on chaos and destruction, inevitably leading to our fatal demise in the near future.

I struggle to say that Mother! even has a plot when everything is to be taken figuratively, and the consistent messages and warnings are the only real substance the film has to offer. To have read and watched numerous reviews where many complain the film is incomprehensible and lacks any meaning truly baffles me. Were you on your phone the whole time or did you have your face stuffed in your buttery popcorn rather than looking up at the blatantly obvious theatre screen? The film goes out of it’s way to ensure you, the viewer, understand the message it is trying to get across, even to the point where a character bluntly states exactly what a scene prior represented.

After being beaten to a pulp with the filmmaker’s message for two hours, not only was I drained and tired of it’s repetition but, bored and uninterested. There is certainly plenty to admire in the film, the message is at times thought provoking and daringly original. The cinematography exquisitely captures the mood and essence of what the title character is going through with the excellent usage of extreme close-ups and lack of wide shots, giving you a claustrophobic and unnerving viewing experience. Both Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem give fabulous performances, as do the rest of the supporting cast including Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer in particular. In the end however, it is the lackluster, pretentious screenplay and direction that takes away from the film. I would, in a weird way, recommend seeing Mother! though as it is in fact a very original film and unlike anything I have ever seen. Love it or hate it, you can’t say it wasn’t an experience to watch the chaos unfold on screen. Mother! gets a 2.5/5 (5/10).