A couple’s bond is something that is difficult to break. The love that a man and a woman feel for each other is one of the oldest forces of human nature. Everyone once in a while, something or someone comes along to join as a friend. One of the two is bound to see this new person as a threat to their lives. This is the subject of the new psychological horror film, “mother!,” from director Darren Aronofsky.
In their isolated home in the forest, Mother and Him (Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem) are working to build a tranquil life for themselves. However, one night, a mysterious man (Ed Harris) arrives, looking for a place to stay. The next day, they are joined by the man’s even more mysterious wife (Michelle Pfeiffer). From there, more and more people begin to show up. Mother must attempt to survive as her home, love life, and sanity begin to fall apart around her.
No matter what you think of this movie, one thing we can all agree on is that it is one of the weirdest movies to be released by a major studio in years. It will be hard not to spoil anything. It’s a simple setup that leads into a surreal experience full of subliminal imagery and allegories. This movie is not for those looking for a fun horror movie. For this reviewer, mother! is journey that left me with a smile on my face.
First off, I really enjoyed the performances. I have always been a fan of Jennifer Lawrence, and I believe she played her character perfectly. He expressions were genuine, and I really cared for her when she was frustrated or scared. I also thought Javier Bardem’s performance was delightfully creepy. His character was someone who, even when he did questionable things, you really felt why he did what he did.
The cinematography was also great. Aronofsky really knows how to stage his shots, and this one was no different. He perfectly set up each shot so that we focused on Lawrence, and had no idea what was happening around her. All the actions in the background were left up to our interpretations. This kept that movie effectively thrilling and mysterious.
Along with the camera work, the set pieces were something to behold. The house that Mother and Him lived in was perfectly structured so that we, the audience, felt just as claustrophobic as the characters. I also appreciated the old-fashioned style of the home. It felt creepier than setting the film in a contemporary house in the woods.
Despite descending into indescribable madness in the second half, it was the one thing that kept me hooked throughout the movie. There was something about the apocalyptic chaos depicted in this film that kept me wondering what would happen next. My mind was moving a million miles-an-hour trying to keep up with what was happening, and I really enjoyed it. Also, I don’t necessarily mean “apocalyptic” in the literal sense.
mother! is not for anyone looking for good, scary fun. It’s also not for anyone willing to think extensively throughout. But if you are someone who is looking for existential madness, and you are willing to have your mind tested, than this movie is for you. I’m still not entirely sure how Darren Aronofsky got this made by a major studio. All I know is that he has crafted another masterpiece that will successfully divide any type of audience.