171. mother!


mother! is certainly the most unconventional, abstract, unhinged thing that Darren Aronofsky has ever done, but it still holds the key themes shared by many of his classic films. There’s Paranoia, mob mentality, and a general sense of unease that generates key, destabilizing moments which make you squirm in your chair. It’s an experience for sure, deeply emblematic and occasionally profound, completely confusing but all-together enlightening. It’s a trip.

Jennifer Lawrence plays Mother, who is the key female character throughout the film. Mother is married to Him, a god-like figure who is also a writer. Mother is also god-like but not as powerful or beloved as Him. While Him loves inviting people into his home, Mother just wishes it was her and him hanging out and gets really peeved when Man and Woman (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) show up at their home, who they trigger a bunch of other humans showing up instead.

Everything in this film can be deeply analyzed and cross-referenced with bible excerpts, Torah portions and quotes from the Koran. Every snippet of dialogue, every zoom-shot of an object on the floor, every action and decision is so clearly meant to be representative of something holy (or unholy) that you must meticulously watch and pay attention to mother! to reap its full rewards.

It’s a lot to ask from moviegoers, and the film does kind of lose its course near the end, where there’s so much shocking imagery that it loses its meaning and impact and becomes dull. Still, the entire experience of this film is incredibly unique and worth giving your full attention to, even if you don’t enjoy it.

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