Run time: 115 Mins
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson, Brian Gleeson,
Synopsis: A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.
Filmmaker and environmentalist, Darren Aronofsky has always received acclaim and generated controversy for his disturbing, frequently surreal films like Requiem for a Dream (2000) and Black Swan (2010).
In Mother! – a dark and twisted tale of Biblical proportions – a couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their beautiful remote octagonal home, disrupting their tranquil existence.
Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) is an anxious, young woman living an isolated life as the second wife of Him (Javier Bardem). He is a much older, famous poet and writer who appears to be blocked. Mother spends her days lovingly and painstakingly restoring his family home which had been horribly burned down in the past. While he withdraws to a study where he cherishes a piece of crystal as a treasured relic from the disaster.
One day, Man (Ed Harris) knocks on the door; he is invited in by Him, who asks Man to stay. Mother is fobbed off with various explanations about who and why Man is there. His arrival is soon followed by Woman, his wife. In a gloriously acerbic performance, Michelle Pfeiffer cranks up the menace of the disturbing invasion, with her impertinent and bitchy unsettling comments to Mother.
From then on, mystery is piled on mystery as this riveting psychological horror explores themes of love, devotion and sacrifice, through images of rich religious mysticism, environmental symbolism and elusive allegory.
Highly symbolic, satirical and disturbing, Mother! invokes a sense of dread and foreboding during an intense and often uncomfortable watch which will divide audiences and no doubt be one of 2017’s most controversial films.
Aronofsky has likened his film to a ride on the biggest rollercoaster in the park and advises his audience to: “go with the surprise of it.” Mother! has nods to Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby (1968); Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel (1962) and Lars von Trier’s Antichrist (2009).
Totally eviscerating, Mother! confounds, astounds and is open to many interpretations – none of them easily forgotten.
Images courtesy of PARAMOUNT