mother!

Film Title

mother!

Synopsis

God interacts with Earth and her mother and chaos is inevitable

Director

Darren Aronofsky

Cast

Jennifer Lawrence
Javier Bardem
Michelle Pfeiffer
Ed Harris

“This is my body, eat. This is my blood, drink”The Eucharist

“The Bible was the Christmas Tree that allowed me to hang these ornaments on it” -Darren Aronofsky explaining the influence of The Bible on his movie

“You never loved me. You only loved how I loved you.” —mother (Jennifer Lawrence) to Him (Javier Bardem)

Mother! Yes, this is mother, and not just any run of the millstream Mother, but the MOTHER of all movies I’ve seen this year. There will be no mysteries in this review. If you have not seen the movie and intend to see it, stop reading after the spoiler alert below. If you are not seeing the movie and/or want it explained, keep reading. I will have a warning before the *Major Spoilers* section where I go into the very essence of the allegories. Most people will probably hate this movie, and for all the wrong reasons. I will not dwell on this as saying anything negative would take away from this intense masterpiece. Mother! will blow you mind and then scatter the pieces throughout the universe to be recycled again…one day.

Mother! Is horrifying, but not a horror movie. It is thrilling, but not a Thriller film. There is a definite home invasion, but this is not a Home Invasion Film. It is like nothing you have ever seen before, as it grabs you by the shoulders and rivets you in your seat for 2 hours. Darren Aronofsky stated in an interview with MTV that he wrote this movie in 6 days, after a fever dream. Sounds like a supernatural creation to me. Most movies take years, if not decades to formulate. Aronofsky is a genius and one of the most audacious writer/director that we have today. His resume is staggering and includes such films as Pi, The Wrestler, Requiem For A Dream, Black Swan, The Fountain, and Noah. Mother!, like Noah, is not a Christian film like The Case for Christ. On the contrary, this film takes the religions and cults that have been invented by humans and burns them to the ground.

Like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf , mother! Is a movie with 4 central characters, two of which are unwanted guests. That’s where the similarity ends as the movie morphs into an outrageous mix of The Life of Brian, Rosemary’s Baby and Aguirre, The Wrath of God. The four main characters in mother! Are Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer. The characters are named only Mother, Him, Man and Woman, so this may give you a big hint that something egregious is coming, especially considering who made this film.

The acting all around was top shelf, especially Jennifer Lawrence, whose face was in almost every frame. As the film progressed we, as viewers become totally immersed in her character. Ed Harris always brings it and Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance was nothing short of a tour de force. She’s got to be in the running for best supporting actress. What can I say about Javier Bardem? He was perfectly cast for this part and he nailed his part, literally. More on that later. What Aronofsky did with this movie is amazing, there was no music and the camera work was spectacular. The entire movie was shot in one place, the old house, but never for one second were you not totally in the grip of this masterpiece of a film.

Mother was in charge of renovating a formerly majestic country house that had almost totally burned. Him was a writer, once famous, but now struggling for inspiration for his next poetic masterpiece. Life was idyllic until one unexpected guest appeared…then another…then two more…then a lot more. Mothers consternation with Him’s uncharacteristic generosity and familiarity erupted into into full-blown terror, as violence and bizarre events escalated exponentially. All of this was viewed from Mother’s mind’s eye as she frantically tried to digest the chaos around her. Her house and all her work were being destroyed by mobs of inconsiderate invaders. This chaos reached a watery crescendo and then after a incredibly tense and then passionate interchange with Him, peace and tranquility again returned to their Paradise.

Mother was pregnant and the writer had regained his inspiration and written another masterpiece. Their paradise of a house was returned to its former state of renovation and Mother’s pregnancy now shows heavily. The successful again author and Mother are about to sit down to a congratulatory dinner as his publisher had called with glowing reports of his success. There is then a knock on the door, and gradual nightmarish turmoil and disorder cannot begin to describe the final act of the film. Fans and admirers swoop down on their paradise house like a swarm of hungry locusts. Mother experiences the deja vu of eight months ago, only this time it is much, much worse. Mere words cannot describe the last act of the movie. Aronofsky never wavered, never flinched and never, ever stopped his relentless assault on the senses. You literally must see it to believe.

 

*Major Spoilers and Religious allegory from this point*

The religious allegory runs rampant in this film. It body slams you like The Wrestler and then terrifies you like Requiem For A Dream. Once you are in your seat and the movie rolls, Aronofsky owns your mind, body and soul. You will not walk away from this movie unfettered, as you will be fuming with rage, dizzy with marvel, or maybe in the coma of confusion if you don’t recognize what he is doing. I have read review after review where the reviewers admit that this movie is an A+ but then give mother! A ridiculously low rating because it challenged and offended their religious mythologies. Like the Eraserhead Baby, hey! Just get over it. Here is the deal and the real cast of characters:

  • Him – Is God, the Creator
  • Mother – Mother Earth, Mother Mary
  • The Man – Adam
  • The Woman – Eve
  • Their Sons – Cain & Abel
  • The House – Paradise
  • The property and grounds – The Earth
  • All of the Annoying People – The Earth’s inhabitants

The house represented Paradise, or The Garden of Eden, and their estate represented the Earth, or some similar creation. We simply do not know how many times God re-booted. Mother was Mother Earth, the Earth, the world and The Environment. The Man and the Woman were, of course, Adam and Eve and God’s creation. God’s creations did not amuse Mother Earth, she was doing just fine without the intervention of flawed humans. Of course, The Man and The Woman went into the forbidden area (Him’s office), disobeying the warning from Mother. They fell from grace and we subsequently witness violence and murder with their sons (Cain & Abel) who show up at the door.

More guests arrive, representing the rise in human population and they are, to say the least, disrespectful to The House that Mother had worked so hard in evolving. The burst water pipe in the kitchen was the result of the guest’s constant disrespect for The House and it resulted in a flood, and all the uninvited guests suddenly disappeared.

Humans again over-populated and overran The Earth (The House) and Him (God) being a selfish narcissistic jerk, totally disregarded the wishes and the well-being of Mother and The House and let them back in. Chaos exploded at an alarming rate as Mother was horrified at the destruction caused by humans. False prophets flourished and The House was consumed with violence, murder and ultimately war. After much mind-numbing and terrifying pandemonium, Mother gave birth to her baby (Jesus), but Him (God) insisted on taking her baby away and showing it to the masses. I simply won’t tell you what happens next, I just can’t, but I just have to hand it again to Aronofsky for his focus and risk-taking. This is the scene that probably lost him half his audience, but it was essential, shocking and unforgettable.

Mother had had enough and struck back with fury. God then asked Mother to forgive the people. Neither Mother, nor the Planet Earth was in a forgiving mood and God chose to not intervene. Mother Earth had given God her all, but God was God after all and God was an extremely selfish and inconsiderate God. God or Him (Javier Bardem), had become drunk with his own power, the worship of his flawed and destructive creations, and could merely snuff out Earth and make another one. Wash, rinse, repeat.

10.0/10.0

Bible Verses that were not in the film, but came to mind after watching it:

  • Gen. 4:10 The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.
  • John 6:54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.
  • Proverbs 5:11 – And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed
  • Matthew 13:49 – So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just
  • Psalm 139:22 – I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
  • Revelation 9: 10 – They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of Gods people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.
About Goat

Goat is Retired. He does come out occasionally to help Erich and to write Christmas Reviews.