Curtains Up on Mother!

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I admire it. I just don’t like it.

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I love Darren Aronofsky’s work. His is one of the most original and exciting American filmmakers working today. But now with his new film Mother! he has made his least accessible film to date, and yes, I remember The Fountain.

How can I describe this movie without delving into the actual plot? I credit the people behind the marketing because they have done a hell of a job in keeping the story details from leaking. After actually watching it, I understand why they kept it close to their chests. This is a harsh, allegorical, film experience made by a true artist that, love or hate him, knows how to make a divisive movie.

The setup is extremely simple. The character of “Mother”, played very well by Jennifer Lawrence, lives in this beautiful Victorian country home with her writer husband played by Javier Bardem. All she wants is peace and quiet and gets it until certain house guests arrive and soon after — all hell breaks loose. That’s all I will say about this film because by describing where the film goes is a disservice to the filmmaker. This is the kind of film a director like Hitchcock would have insisted on not spoiling in reviews and having the audience not enter the cinema after the film had begun so as not to ruin the surprises.

Now the surprises in Mother! will likely cause much debate. I understand and applaud the director for sticking to his vision because he must have known that audiences will either love it and understand what he is trying to say or walk out before the credits roll and boycott his films until the end of time.

This film is extremely well made. Everyone from the cast to the technicians create an aura of dread that smacks you in the face from the beginning. They go to lengths to create a brutal, emotional film. If you are not prepared for the barrage of turmoil that this movie will throw at you, don’t watch it. This is not an easy film to sit down and enjoy. In fact “enjoy” isn’t the word I should use to describe watching this. This is a hard sell for the average movie goer because this movie is generally, all around, bleak and uncomfortable. But in the end, this is a movie that will be looked and scrutinized for a very long time – and that’s a testament to an artist who has mustered enough clout to ensure his vison remains intact.

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