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‘Mother!’ is an Engaging Head-Trip

Mother! PosterMother! is one wild ride. It’s unlike any film I’ve ever seen. Be warned – your expectations of the viewing experience could kill your enjoyment. It centers on Jennifer Lawrence’s character and her emotional journey through a one-sided romantic relationship. The film filled me with tension as I tried to understand the emotional turns the characters made. It’s structured as a surrealist mystery. Supposedly, its an allegory for some mother earth hoo-haw, but I didn’t catch any of that on the first go through.

A skillful surrealist nightmare.

Aronfsky’s film has the intellect of an arthouse picture, but it’s made with the skill of one of the majors. The acting is outstanding. Lawrence carries the picture through every scene. She’s joined by Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris. All are excellent. The sets, camera work and FX are also standouts. The film appears to have been rigorously rehearsed in order to hit the specific emotional beats that drive the plot. It begins rather mundane, but develops through small character choices that push the narrative further and further from reality. Each choice strains realism, but keeps to an emotional truth that is relatable. The film evolves like a dream turned nightmare.

Do you like to be challenged?

Mother! is beautifully made. It’s a must watch for films fan who enjoy experimentation with the form. Ask yourself – do you want to go on an emotional roller coaster that breaks with realism? Buy the ticket, take the ride. However, if you’d prefer a straightforward plot this might be too wacky for you. The structure and setting made me work to discover the film’s meaning. This was not a relaxed viewing. It made my girlfriend shout at the screen, but it was an excellent picture.


© 2024 by Maximilian Gray