Darren Aronofsky’s mind on fire: ‘Mother!’ movie review

All things considered, the age difference between Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence is only, like, the ninth of tenth weirdest thing about Mother!

Mother! is a new film from Darren Aronofsky — the twisted mind behind films such as Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan and Noah. We’re going to lead off with the trailer with this one, which you can watch below:

In Mother! Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem play a married couple living in a mansion, one that is rather secluded from the rest of the world. It’s a run-down house, but Lawrence — whose character is only given the name ‘mother,’ while Bardem is simply referred to as ‘Him’ — spends most of her days renovating it while Bardem works in his study alone, writing.

They seem like a perfectly happy couple until one day, completely out of the blue, another older couple shows up. Played by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer, the couple asks if they can stay with them. Lawrence is dumb-founded by this odd request, while Bardem is happy to invite them in with open arms.

Weird and mysterious things start happening around the house following the arrival of Harris and Pfeiffer. Not only that, but other people that Lawrence doesn’t recognize start showing up as well, and the whole time Bardem is strangely getting more and more distant.

The trailers for Mother! would have you believe that this is a psychological horror somewhat in the same vein as Get Out or even Black Swan. It isn’t. At all. Most of the audience won’t even consider this a horror movie when all is said and done, and there will be a large number of people who absolutely despise this movie.

That’s because Mother! is a bold, almost experimental, kind of film that’s trying to address certain political and social issues. Things like climate change, politics, war and, most of all, religion are all touched on through various metaphors and symbolism. Aronofsky allegedly wrote this script because he was so fed up with the current state of the world, and finished the first draft in just five days. While there are elements of Rosemary’s Baby at play in certain moments, this movie entirely stands on being it’s own thing.

This is why credit should be given to Aronofsky and his bold signature style of filmmaking. There’s great aspects of cinematography, editing and visual story-telling that are at play in Mother!, to the degree where film-fans will at least be able to appreciate the film even if they don’t necessarily like it. Credit also goes to Paramount for taking a chance and funding this movie, given that they pushed back another Friday the 13th reboot in favor for this original, yet highly strange project.

It’s hard to say what kind of legacy Mother! is going to have ten years down the line. It’s possible that this film is ahead of it’s time and will one day be looked at as a masterpiece, and it’s also possible that Aronofsky got so caught up in his bizarre mind that the whole thing can be viewed as somewhat pretentious. Only one thing can be guaranteed — this movie is going to be divisive.

This film does not have the same kind of mass appeal as It, and like-wise definitely won’t be making over $100 million at the box office this weekend. The best advice I can give is to know what you’re getting in for — this is not a horror movie or even a thriller, it’s a political and social statement wrapped up in ambiguity — and to at least try and admire the talent behind the camera, even if you have no clue what’s actually going on.

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Brandon Schreur

The fella over there with the hella good hair. Movies and TV are my jam, and the fact that I get to write about them on a regular basis is the bees knees.