Written and directed by Darren Aronofsky
By Christopher Spencer
Written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, mother! stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a loving couple who are disturbed by some uninvited guests, before everything in their home turns upside down.
Darren Aronofsky has made some great films in the past with Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler and Black Swan, films that challenge an audience’s expectations and comforts with dark subject territory. He’s not always acclaimed, such is the case with the polarizing The Fountain and 2014’s Noah, but he is always ambitious.
Such is definitely the case for mother!, a movie that twists your perceptions and turns whatever you thought the movie was about on its head over and over again. You can see the passion Aronofsky still has behind the camera, how much intensity is conveyed from both Lawrence and Bardem, and the top-notch analog film cinematography from Matthew Libatique. This is why it’s hard to say that mother! is one of the strangest, most empty, violent, perplexing and f**ked up films I think I’ve ever seen.
mother! starts out feel like a low-budget, claustrophobic thriller with strangers entering a peaceful home, but then it turns into an erotic drama, then a romantic drama, then a story of a tortured artist, then it just gets weirder and weirder and weirder, and it arguably never stops, even past the credits. mother! is trying to convey some metaphor about the environment, political climates and religious fundamentalism, plus a hundred other ideas, all at the same time.
A quarter of the ideas that Aronofsky has poured into mother! are decent to see play out, the rest are just excruciatingly unnecessary and led by exploitation masquerading as logical art. I love the style that Aronofsky can still show off, but the story he puts that style upon makes little to no actual sense. You can put the pieces together, but look back at the whole work and mother! resembles something closer to a four-way train crash.