Mother! – Film Review

I knew going into Mother! That it would be weird and confusing as hell and while my predictions were correct, I never could have prepared myself for how intense, stressful, and deeply uncomfortable it was.

Jennifer Lawrence is credited as “Mother”, who lives with her author/poet husband “Him” (Javier Bardem) in the middle of nowhere in a house she has been slowly repairing from a fire. One day they receive a visit from his fan (Ed Harris) and later his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) shows up, and they refuse to leave, and things get worse when their sons (Brian and Domhnall Gleeson) arrive.

Gradually more and more people take over the house and Him refuses to kick them out, basking in how much they love him, despite how much Mother asks him to. The situation gets much, MUCH worse, despite her happy pregnancy news, but it would be unfair to say any more.

From the beginning, something immediately feels off and the relationship between Him and Mother made me uneasy. This sense of unease and tension just builds and builds and never lets up. My heart was pounding and I genuinely felt stressed out at these random people entering their home, trashing it and refusing to leave. It made me think of how I would react to that situation and it’s basically a nightmare that Mother can’t escape from. We feel the claustrophobia she feels too – some scenes were so loud, full of people and chaos at every turn that I genuinely couldn’t wait for her to find somewhere quiet.

Although there are a few moments of levity and the bizarreness may make you chuckle, this is not a fun or enjoyable movie. You will come out feeling like you endured something. Not only is it a creepy haunted house horror, but it is bloody and violent and twisted and my hand actually flew to my mouth in shock a couple of times.

I won’t even pretend that I have made sense of it and I’m sure that is a metaphorical meaning that I’m not understanding but it feels like it’s saying something about fame and craving love and adoration from the masses as it is not enough from one person. I actually guessed the very end just before it happened so I felt satisfied with it, it’s more the general WTF content I’m still working on.

Darren Aronofsky has created a very provocative, head-spinning piece that will leave you thinking about for a long time after and I’m sure everyone will take different things away from it and interpret it differently. It is a well-made, shocking film with a stellar cast (Pfeiffer is awesome) but it’s such an unpleasant and challenging watch I don’t know if I’d recommend a cinema visit.

In cinemas Friday 15th September 

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