I went into ‘Mother!’ not knowing almost anything about it. I knew basic things like which actors were involved ( an all-star cast might I add) and who was directing, which was Darren Aronofsky). I also heard some mixed things about it, from it being walk out of the theater worthy to a level of praise so high that included words like: “This is a piece of modern art.” Knowing very little about the film and hearing what others have said created a level of intrigue to this film that lead me to a level of hype for it nearing the levels of “It”, which I was severely hyped for. Was the wait worth it? Did not knowing anything enhance or detract my experience? Let’s find out…
Let me say something first because it may confuse some and it confused me. This film is NOT a HORROR film. If you wanna get scared this isn’t the film for you. My first thoughts heading out of the theater were: “What the hell did I just watch?” There are many things in this that I enjoyed and had almost no problems with it but let me set something straight, THIS FILM IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. This isn’t a film that’s meant for a really general audience and by the end of it you’ll know why. I feel that not knowing anything about the film really enhanced my experience with it, but that’s just me. I’m the type of viewer that enjoys to figure things out throughout the film and if the film succeeds in making me reflect and think while I’m watching it, then it’s a success for me. Let’s jump into the things I really loved about “Mother!”
I won’t try to spoil anything so if you are trying to go in blind like I did, then no worries. First off the score, why do I exalt it you might ask? Well there isn’t a score to be exact and it works so well for what it tries to accomplish. This allows for the viewer to be immersed into the setting of the film and truly enhances the film when it comes to the suspense and intrigue it tries to and successfully builds. The raw sounds of the surroundings like the wood creaking or glass breaking really add to the film in general. I can’t give enough credit to writer and director Darren Aronofsky, he wrote a really deep film when it comes to a non-superficial point of view, as well as showing how it’s done when it comes to directing a film like this. His writing stands out so well due to the great performances in the film. Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence play off each other really well and give great lead performances. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jennifer Lawrence is nominated for a best actress award, but it’s to early to call it. Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris give great supporting performances in the film as well. I would describe this as a WTF film due to the fact that I was constantly saying this to myself, but where it stands out is in its third act.
The third act is why you went to see the film, why you paid a high ticket price in today’s economy. It is everything you have heard or think this movie will be. It takes a steam load of guts to be able to sit through this whole act but as a film fan, I had no problem with it. I feel that whenever someone has creative liberty to do something, they should do what they feel that they should do. They don’t do it for the mere fact that they are making a film and getting paid, NO. Each writer has a purpose and this film has a deep one with a message that’s very hidden and hard to find on a initial viewing. No matter what I saw on screen, I was still very engaged to what was going on and trying to find out for myself. The scenes are hard to watch, especially one with Jennifer Lawrence at the helm of it (it’s hard and grueling to watch), but they were shot and executed really well. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people just left the theater while watching the last 30-45 minutes of the film, but again, this isn’t for everyone.
In the end, “Mother!” isn’t for everyone, plain and simple. I believe that some critics out there are giving it too harsh reviews due to that third act basically but hey, that’s film subjectivity at it’s finest. This film has it all, great tension and suspense, tremendous acting, superb direction and a factor that simply keeps you on the edge of your seat. This movie, in my opinion, will be a cult classic years to come. That’s how deep it goes in terms of analyzing and material which is shown on screen. –Kenneth Colon
I originally wrote this review right after leaving the theater and after a goodnight’s sleep and many, many hours to reflect I have changed my mind. I stand by what I said but I want to add something and change my grade. Aronofsky has crafted a masterclass in filmmaking, reminding me why I love film in the first place. It stuck with me all night and after interpreting it as I saw it (you can interpret it in many ways), I know for a fact I can’t credit him or his crew enough. His use of metaphors and allegories throughout the film while invoking it with imagery will make this film stick with you for a while after you’ve seen it. His writing really is a work of art, one which I can see and appreciate as much. I love films and ‘Mother!’ is a real reminder of why I do in the first place.
UPDATED GRADE: 10/10
‘Mother!’ is now playing in theaters everywhere.
A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. From filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), mother! stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer in this riveting psychological thriller about love, devotion and sacrifice.