Aronofsky’s polarizing thriller leaves audiences disturbed
One of the most divisive movies of the year is Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!” The film stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a husband and wife whose home and lives are invaded by unwelcome house guests. The result is one of the most deranged studio releases in years.
Bardem plays a famous poet who is experiencing a long bout of writer’s block, and Lawrence is his doting wife, putting all her energy into rehabilitating their home which was burned down years ago. A man (Ed Harris) shows up at their door, followed later by his wife (Michelle Pfei er), who both need a place to stay. From there, the story morphs into an introvert’s worst nightmare.
No description of the film’s plot could prepare you for what is essentially more of an emotional experience than a traditional narrative. Everything, from the unnamed characters, to the visceral and strange style of filmmaking, is deeply allegorical. There are so many ideas crammed onto the screen which Aronofsky has spoken about at length in interviews. The mixed metaphors which range from the religious to the environmental are very obvious, but the movie covers several other interpretations that are more interesting than what the director intended.
The film is beautifully made and admirable for how many risks it takes, and the last act is particularly chaotic and horrifying. Like many of Aronofsky’s movies, whether you love or hate “mother!,” it is probably not a film experience you will want to live twice.