3 / 5
Mother! Is a movie by a man that operates his own way. The setup is a man and a woman live in a little house together, they are married, there’s an age gap between them and there was a fire which ruined the house and she has spent the her time repairing it for the two of them. We never learn their names, nor anyone’s in the movie, the characters operate on the roles in the piece.
Jennifer Lawrence is put through the emotional ringer as someone that has to be naive, balancing frustration and then terrified of her situation and others.
The other cast members are here to serve as counterpoints to her character. Either intruding on her barriers or in no way being civil or polite. They all do this to varying degrees, some creep through bit by bit before they say or do something that is blatant, others arrive and are instantly crass and detestable.
The house itself is made almost entirely of fresh wood, a spiralling staircase take it’s inhabitants up and down and has designs on the windows, floor and ceiling that probably don’t serve any other purpose than to engrave themselves on the viewers mind. It sits in the middle of a green field that is surrounded by a seeming endless forest.
The wife and Him (Javier Bardem) are living their lives when suddenly there is a knocking at the door. It is a man (Ed Harris) that was wandering and just wants to say hello, he is invited in for a drink and then is also invited to spend the night. All at the behest of Him. Then eventually the mans wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) arrives at their door and is also staying at their house. As each new visitor seemingly just arrives Him is completely accepting of every new arrival and welcomes them into their home.
Aronofsky’s main reoccurring theme throughout his work is characters that seek divinity but ultimately fall short due to the world or their own shortcomings. Here Lawrence’s character wants to create the perfect, idyllic home for herself and the man she loves. However he is not content with simply her love, he needs it from others.
The movie is, I suppose a horror, it certainly has moments of fright, terror and unease. In the sound department it is certainly one. Every little spec of sound, from the footsteps, the insects outside and others that come later on that will most likely disturb are sharply captures and layered.
When we reach the climax of the movie it is like Children of Men within The Amityville Horror. It is a roaring, swirling, completely mad experience where all of humanities savagery is displayed before us and at times is horrific and at some bits, pretty funny. Like a cartoon. Aronofsky doesn’t believe in slow, delicate climaxes, he always goes all out and loud.
This is a slow movie that builds to a heavy handed finale of no subtlety. But at the same time you can see that this is the work of a great craftsman who also posses an original voice. Just the originality and way it plays-out is something worth seeing in a time of remakes and franchises. In terms of low scale horror it is not as finely tuned or effective as Get Out, as a larger vision it isn’t as rich as A Cure for Wellness but that’s also it’s appeal as a whole, it isn’t like anything else.