‘Mother!’ Review: Jennifer Lawrence’s stars in a horrifying conceptual film about society’s selfishness

In Arts & Entertainment, Film & TV, Lifestyle, Multimedia, Reviews
(Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

“Mother!” is an intense, rated R two-hour mindtrip that is certainly not a movie for the faint of heart. There is mayhem. There is blood and there is violence – a lot of it.

Director Darren Aronofsky is notorious for his previous dark and twisted works including “Black Swan” and “Noah,” but “Mother!” is much worse than your typical horror film.

The trailer is quite misleading and will probably leave its viewers with an inaccurate representation of what to expect. It is advised to go in with an open mind and pay close attention to every detail.

The characters’ names are never mentioned in the film and the credits simply refer to the roles portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence as “Mother” and Javier Bardem as “Him.”

The movie starts off relatively slow, following the tranquil lives of Mother and her much older husband, Him. She is a homemaker in every sense of the word and he is a poet with a bad case of writer’s block. The story quickly picks up the pace when two intrusive strangers arrive at their home and chaos inevitably erupts.

From then on, the plot gradually gets more bizarre and appalling by the minute. Lawrence’s character continuously asks throughout the film “What is happening?” and the audience might find themselves wondering the exact same thing. A woman leaving the theater after the movie said “I have no idea what I just saw,” to which the rest of the moviegoers responded to with concurring laughter.

The intricate storyline in “Mother!” makes it difficult to immediately grasp the main concept. It is one of those films that leaves it up to the audience to interpret the message it is trying to convey.

With that being said, the overall theme explores mankind’s tendency to ruin anything good with selfishness, constantly wanting more regardless of consequences and still never being satisfied. This theme reinforces the idea that the ego is the root of all evil.

There are many scenes that allude to the destruction of the planet at the hands of mankind. It feels ironic that “Mother!” came out so soon after the many recent natural disasters that have occurred. It undoubtedly adds a sense of realism to the film, making it that much more powerful.

Lawrence’s performance certainly contributes to the film as she fully immersed herself in the role of Mother. What her character goes through in the last 25 minutes is truly frightening and almost unbearable to watch. It takes a great actor to evoke a reaction from the audience through a screen and that is exactly what she does. Bardem also does a great job bringing Him to life, but Lawrence definitely steals the spotlight in this one.

The production as a whole is very well put together, from the setting to the soundtrack. It takes place in a big, beautiful country home isolated from the rest of society. This is perhaps one of the most significant aspects of the film, along with the music composition that helps set the tone without being distracting.

The camera movement could make moviegoers dizzy and the story could have been told in less than two hours. It is hard to keep up with all that goes on and there are times when the violence gets a little too gory, but the film itself is unique and thought provoking.

Whether you love it or hate it, it is important to acknowledge the valuable message behind “Mother!”

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