I left this movie at a loss for words. This is an experience beyond comprehension. I’ve seen some strange movies in my time, but Mother! just about tops them all. Director Darren Aronofsky has never been one to hold back, whether it’s his dark and unnerving vision in Black Swan or his boundary pushing depiction of heroin addiction in Requiem For A Dream. His films elevate what cinema was made for, propelling it out into the far reaching areas of the cosmos, where a linear narrative is but an unknown concept. With Mother!, Arronofsky is let loose once again. There’s no limits to his madness, and the result is spell bounding.
The narrative is always on edge. It twists and turns its way through its baffling premise, without any explanation as to what’s real and what’s not. This is a dark, confronting experience that’s no-doubt going to turn a lot of people off. General audiences are going to hate it, and for fair reason. Mother! is the least mainstream movie ever made. Aronofsky has made some strange films before. Just look at The Fountain. But nothing can prepare you for the ambiguous dreamscape known as Mother! This film is off the rails. It’s the depiction of a couple who let uninvited strangers into their home, only to have their tranquil experience flipped upside down and their introverted lives figuratively and literally destroyed.
Watching this had me flung back into my seat, gob smacked and in awe of the unrelenting nature of this movie. I was pulled in, enjoying it, only to be pushed back, resenting it, and then ultimately being pulled back in again. The first hour is sensational. I couldn’t have loved it more. The way Aronofsky writes is brilliant in the most uncomfortable of ways, matched with visuals and performances that blow this thing through the roof. Jennifer Lawrence has been better, there’s no doubt about it, but her performance here goes to places we haven’t seen from the Oscar nominated actress before. She takes her character to some dark, violent places, where the world is anything but her oyster, and she kills it.
There are almost too many ideas floating around within the film’s boarders. Characters and plot elements are dropped without hesitation, often leading to a questioning of why some of it was even needed in the first place, but it’s Aronofsky’s dedication to the cause that brings this thing to a close. A choice to have no score adds to the chaos, for the sound design carries the film to victory. I don’t know if I can stomach watching this film again. It’s not necessarily one to obsessively rewatch, except for those who are no-doubt going to be analysing its every frame, attempting to uncover the hidden truths buried deep inside. If you find it, let me know.
You May Also Like: