The movie mother! follows a poet by the name of “Him” (Javier Bardem) and his wife “mother” (Jennifer Lawrence) as they remodel their house. A mysterious man (Ed Harris) shows up and asks for a place to stay. The next day, the man’s wife (Michelle Pfeffer) shows up the next day. This soon creates a domino effect of unwanted guests.
Mother!, which was directed by Darren Aronofsky, is a film that divided both audiences and critics alike. Some people think it is a masterpiece while others say it’s an exercise in self-indulgence. The main question of this review is, what do I think about it?
To start things off, mother! Has a solid cast. Jennifer Lawrence is spectacular as “mother”, the scorned wife of a poet with writer’s block. In my opinion, Lawrence gives one of the best performances of her career. Javier Bardem is also great as “Him”. It is refreshing to see him play a complex character such as “Him”. Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeffer are also great as the shady houseguests of the main couple. They both manage to give off an aura of menace throughout the duration of their screen presence.
The best thing about this film is its visual direction. Aronofsky has a knack for innovative film techniques, including his extensive usage of Steadicam. Thanks to these techniques, mother! has a very chaotic style that sets itself apart from other studio projects. The film’s third act is where the film takes its visuals up to eleven. I am still surprised that this film was released by a major studio.
The most notable aspect about this film is its use of allegory. There are many debates online about what the story stands for including religion, the environment, humanity and the consequences of fame amongst others. I cannot go any further into these details without spoiling the film.
Personally, I thought the use of allegory and metaphor in this film was handled very well. I thought the writing in this film was very subtle despite its chaotic imagery. However, the film’s main problem is its pacing. The film starts off as a slow burn before going into overdrive in the third act. Despite its wonky pace, Mother! is a film that is worth seeing at least once.
I have mentioned before that this film is very divisive amongst critics and audiences alike. I would highly recommend this film for the more adventurous film-goer. This film is not for casual film-goers and the faint of heart alike. No matter what the marketing says, this is a film that defies genre.