Dir. Darren Aronofsky
R / 2h 1m / Drama, Horror
I am I. And you are home.
Mother! is Darren Aronofsky’s (or as my household calls him, Daronofsky) latest cinematic punch in the gut, and oh man, is it a satisfying one.
** This review contains spoilers **
Daronofsky has been on my lists since, obviously, Requiem for a Dream (2000). The Fountain (2006) and Black Swan (2010) furthered my adoration for his in-your-face productions… films that make you feel you’re on an anxious ride and completely out of control. I love how he stages characters and shoots around them, I love how they interact with their world and environments. There is something so insane about watching an Aronofsky film. He is a master of subversion, unapologetic, visceral. (Except for Noah (2014). I don’t want to mention Noah here, because, I mean, ???).
Let’s make one thing abundantly clear right now. If you take this film at face value, you are going to hate it. It won’t make sense, it will seem utterly fucking confusing and disappointing. You will write a shit ass uneducated review on IMDB and think you did the world a favor.
Fuck you, and fuck off.
PLOT: Mother (Lawrence) lives in a secluded house in the middle of nowhere with Him (Bardem), a writer, a poet. They have a peaceful life together until a stranger enters their home – someone who is a fan of Him, who loves Him. From that visit, others come, they make themselves so present in a home that isn’t theirs, stressing Mother out, confusing her, and ultimately ruining her.
Mother! is a masterpiece. It is the story of our humanity intertwined with the Biblical count of creation, how sin entered the world, and how we have ravaged the world in that wake. It is from Genesis to now, to our end, to the next beginning. It is a sick ride and gut wrenching to watch and understand.
Credited only as Him – he the great writer, God himself. Mother is his companion, the great builder and comforter, mother nature. Their house is meant to be our Earth. The first visitor is Adam, and that is made apparent by the shot of him blowing chunks after a night of drinking with Him – his rib was taken. The next day, his wife appears. She’s a mischievous woman, that likes to roam and break things that aren’t hers. From there, we are thrust on a fast track through human history and devastation. Sometimes it happens so fast you don’t even have time to equate it to the story you already know. But you know the story – and you can’t deny it.
The entire film is shot so up close and personal. A shot of the surrounding room is rare, which forces us to pay the most attention to how Mother and Him are reacting to each other. The start of the film is so very calm, peaceful even. Every breath is heard and thoughts almost scream. The shots are still and careful. As the story progresses into its madness, the shots become violent and angular, breath becomes screaming. I felt very sick at my stomach towards the end, just because I had lived this story for two hours and I can’t believe it came to this. Because I know this to be truth. When Mother begs Him to make the people leave and he doesn’t – it hurts. It hurts to see a creator so infatuated with beings that adore him that he would allow the place they are living to fall to ruin. That he would allow his partner that continues to give and give and give to be used up and destroyed for his own ego to survive.
So many people are shitting on this film and it absolutely kills me. I haven’t seen anything so intricately and quietly profound in a long, long time. I’m not stopping you from reading the crappy reviews, but I beg of you to take them with a grain of salt. This story is important. It needs to be seen, understood, and felt. It is a dark truth that we all know deep down.
And it is already too late.