MOTHER! EXPLAINED – WITH A REVIEW

MOTHER! is the latest mind-f*ck from , or do we call him JLaw’s boyfriend now? Such an odd pairing offscreen but a stellar partnership onscreen. MOTHER! will be hated by more members of the public than loved by critics who will appreciate the artistic poetry in its meaning. I have to have full disclosure here, I had to research the meaning of this film, it takes a lot of work and I respect it more I now understand it but as a film on its own without discovering the meaning I found it pretty confusing.

MOTHER! is out now from Paramount Pictures, it is rated MA15+ and runs for 121mins. Be warned – this movie has some incredibly heavy scenes to view – more so in the last act. A simple bloody hole in the floor had my viewing partner audibly gagging twice to a cinema of laughter.

 

Mother! Jennifer Lawrence image
JLaw as Mother

 

BY

A GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING THE MIND FUCK THAT IS MOTHER! (CONTAINS EXPLANATIONS WHICH COULD BE INTERPRETED AS SPOILERS)

The simple explanation behind this is best understood if you take the character’s names literally. There are no real names used in the movie – JLaw is Mother, Bardem is Him, is Man and is Woman. If I then tell you the original title of the movie was “DAY 6” – does this do anything for you? If you had bible classes in school or are a follower of the best-selling fiction in history then you may understand.

MOTHER! is Aronofsky’s allegory to Genesis from the Bible. Do not freak out that it is religious – it is more horror than most horror movies. But at the same time can MOTHER! even be classed as a horror? I lean more towards the Mind F*ck genre of films.

plays a poet who is in reality God, JLaw is Mother Nature, Ed Harris is Adam – did you see the hole in his rib cage? That’s Michelle Pfeiffer being created as Eve. The baby? Jesus. That crystal Woman so desperately wants to touch and then breaks – guess which fruit that is? God creates earth and invites people, people around God tends to head towards absolute anarchy and chaos more suited to the bowels of hell. My first guess was that JLaw was the house and Bardem was satan – quite odd that he was actually God. Oh yeah – and the house – that is an interpretation of Earth or something confusing like that.

 

Mother! Jennifer Lawrence image
JLaw as Mother

 

I NEED A LOBOTOMY NOW DARREN, THANKS!

From viewing the movie I did not understand the above synopsis (of sorts) I have provided. You are basically just viewing insanity and chaos develop onscreen from a glacially slow first act. The movie is a crescendo in slow build and that climax is out of control insanity. MOTHER! gets into your head like a termite into wood – ever since I have come out of the screening I have been thinking over and over about it. And therein lies the success of the movie – most of the public will hate it and scream their hate to the world as they come out of the cinema but if they knew the meaning off the bat they would probably think differently. And anything that makes you think these days is good in my opinion.

The cinematography, art direction, score and everything else technical is just flawless, how they filmed the claustrophobic third act is applause worthy on its own. I am also incredibly impressed that this was all filmed on 16mm film.

 

Mother! Movie Poster image

 

THE CAST:

Lawrence is just superb – so innocent, frightened and confused the entire time. I just wanted her to turn into something evil and kill everyone haha. Bardem also delivered as he always does, his character has you on edge a lot of the time. He is not to be understood and this made for some very frustrating scenes. Same with Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer, two truly remarkable characters that you just want to hate with a passion – same for their children – little bastards. I haven’t yet mentioned – their two children are Kane and Abel. Everyone else that turns up you will think are the spawn of satan and you’re not too far off.

 

Mother! Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem image
and Javier Bardem

 

IN CONCLUSION:

MOTHER! is an intelligent mind fuck allegory to religion. On its own the viewing will be confusing and difficult to view but with explanation it opens up an entire new meaning that is intellectual and mind blowing. My first words when asked about the movie were “It’s complex and a mind fuck that requires a thesis of study to make perfect sense of.” Best of luck to film students because you will study this film at some stage. I want to punch you in the face Aronofsky but I also want to praise you as a cinematic god-like auteur.

 

 

 

YOUR CRITIC:

 owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the  industry for 26yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.