Well, Aronofsky doesn’t make the usual movies, and this one does veer hard… but not soon enough.
I’ve been thinking about this for hours, and there are many ideas to consider in Mother! I should probably view it a second time to get my ducks in a row, but here we are. Not everything is what it seems, and many details may intend two meanings.
Mother! is structurally flawed, and by that I mean it remains in the mundane world for far too long. It remains stuck in this one house actually for its entirety, and I usually loathe films that do so. It gets tedious, oppressive and ultimately boring. You can only endure so many extreme close-ups of beautiful Jennifer Lawrence before you break down and say, “We’re never getting out of this fucking house.”
Here it’s not for budget but intentional. It’s supposed to be oppressive, claustrophobic, and tedious. So it’s not going to wow the cineplex. We remain with a couple that’s not all that romantic, and they renovate a house for three quarters of the movie, even though that’s not what it’s really about.
The ending comes on like an exploding fireworks factory, but it doesn’t exactly follow from what preceded it. There’s a story disconnect, a non-sequitur, which he tried to patch up with a bit of exposition here or there, but something deeper feels off. I think it’s the main character.
Lawrence is supposed to represent a particular theme, but if she truly did so then why is she such a neurotic hermit who abhors visitors? Why would that be part of her character, given the mythic flipside? Something tells me this was overlooked, although it seems to have sunk the film. You can’t be A and Not-A simultaneously.
I was not blown away as I was at Black Swan. An old woman behind me announced, at closing, “Worst movie I ever seen in my life.” Mother! was not what she was expecting by a long shot.
I think it has many redeeming qualities, but it could have used a rethinking.
It’s a comedy novel.
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