If you’ve watched Black Swan and/or The Wrestler you’d know that director Darren Aronofsky is big on the whole tortured artist motif. He plays this stories close to the vest and tries to distort the viewers’ perception of what is or isn’t real.
Unlike so many typical Hollywood films, Arononfsky isn’t trying to a movie that tries to make you feel a good warm on the inside. His stylistic choices are meant to disarm you, make you uncomfortable.
I laid low on seeking out a synopsis for the movie mother!. But to be perfectly honest, even if you read the synopsis or the director and cast explanation of the story it still won’t really validate what you took away from the experience.
Let’s start things off by saying this. mother! should have been a limited release, plain and simple. Yes, we have Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawerence carrying the movie so obviously, it made sense to make this one of those Blockbuster movies.
But, let’s rethink this for a second, okay?
In terms of mass consumption, if we want to take all heavy and heady in your storyline you kind of need to appeal the dumbest person in the room. If the dumbest person in the room enjoys your work then everyone will probably find something to like about it.
mother! if definitely not something you go and watch to escape from your everyday reality because to be perfectly honest the scope of a movie is a personification of my own personal daily/weekly/monthly/yearly stresses combined.
If you wanna buy the explanation that the director claims is the unspoken theme behind the story. Go for it.
However, I found the movie much more enjoyable without any obvious explanation. For me, the film had a lot to do with personal space and insecurities. It kind of reminded me of when I have dreams where nothing is going right and everyone is acting against my own self-interest. I thought the movie did really good at making the audience feel like an unspoken character in the film. You can’t do much, but you’re with Jennifer Lawerence’s character everywhere she goes and feel like you’re trapped in a shared hell.
The one thing I really appreciated about Jennifer Lawrence in this film is how different this character was to more recent films she’s been in. The majority of them have been bad-ass women who don’t get walked by on anyway.
This character of Mother, however, gets nothing but walked on. In that way, it was refreshing to know our gal-pal Jen is trying to find characters aren’t cookie cutter or just a variation of her previous roles.
There was also a moment later on in the film where Jennifer’s face literally transforms. While I knew it was Jennifer Lawrence on screen (since I’ve been watching her POV for over an hour) her performance seemed to radically change how I perceived her. It was a trippy moment.
mother! got under my skin because is refused to normalize the narrative in a way that I was comfortable with. I didn’t like the way it made it feel, but I liked that for the first time in awhile I felt like a movie challenged me to think bigger and challenged me emotionally.