Mother!

tmp_oLHXPW_d785c743c5338b61_MomSome stories do not need to be told. Mother! falls squarely within that category. I walked out of the theatre at the end of the movie asking, what was the point? Why did I suffer through two hours of claustrophobic misery to get back where I started?  And actually,  further behind than where I started because at least then I was curious about Darren Aronofsky’s latest project. Afterward, I was just tired and dreading this review.

Mother! is not an awful film, I don’t think. It has a stellar cast and is visually captivating (though it’s too harsh and dour to ever be beautiful). Maybe some will even appreciate the crazy downward spiral that is this film, as it goes to soul-devouring depths that most wouldn’t dare to approach. Me? Not one bit. Not even a little. It made me uncomfortable right from the start, and not in a challenging way, and not in a way that offered me anything.

This film is the same as Javier Bardem’s nameless poet: selfish, desiring my affection, and oblivious to anything else. It is art that takes from the audience rather than giving, which also echoes the plot of the movie itself. Is that intentional? If so, that would make Aronofsky our version of the poet, and I would suggest that you not give him your energy in service of his creation. I already gave enough for both of us.

 

 

 

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38 thoughts on “Mother!

  1. Pingback: Mother! — ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES | Fantasy Sources: Art, Gifts, Ideas, Article Resources, News

  2. Toxic Fletch

    This doesn’t sound promising, especially for a movie with the cast this one has. But then an accomplished cast is almost its own warning sign of scenery chewing ahead: let the cast distract the viewer from what’s missing in the story. Haven’t seen it and it was not on my radar, but it sounds like a promising bashing might be ahead. 😉

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    1. Sean Post author

      I did not think it would turn me off so much going in, but it’s just brutal and that seems to be exactly what Aronofsky was going for. It’s way too awful to be so unrewarding.

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      1. Toxic Fletch

        Clive Barker comes to mind here, as well the Demons franchise. I realize this is probably an apples to oranges comparison, but neither of those strikes me as having a point other than to be an exhibition of a writer/director’s ability without consideration for what the audience gets out of it.

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    1. Sean Post author

      The movie doesn’t attempt to hide anything so I’m not surprised the trailer is the same way. I was going to see it either way as well. Hard to say I’m glad I did – it was rough!

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    1. Sean Post author

      I’m curious to see whether your love for gore helps – except for one particular part, I didn’t find this film very gory, but it definitely is brutal throughout.

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  3. Jay

    This isn’t so much a movie as an art piece.
    There isn’t much of a narrative, the whole thing is just a metaphor. The first half has a bit of a story line that infuriated me, until the second half started and I realized I missed the first half because this was so much worse. It’s just imagery.
    It’s like Aronofsky has a big rock and he’s pummeling your head with it until you bleed, the end. Just fucking brutal.

    And looking back, I thought the camera work was distracting at best and confusing – or at least, not really thematically consistent.

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  4. dbmoviesblog

    I can just admit that I love intense, psychologically dreary, tortuous films. But, I also do not like pretentiousness in films or films which are too manipulative and playing too hard to get one’s attention. I have this feeling that this film by Aronofsky just tries too hard. The film kinda disappointed already with one of its posters copying “Rosemary’s Baby”. What was the point in that? To boost the sales? Polanski is still alive for any tributes.
    I have the feeling I might agree with you on “Mother!” when I finally see it. I really think that Aronofsky produces his best on a small budget (“Requiem for A Dream”, “The Fountain”, etc.), and runs like a headless chicken when he has to produce something on a big budget. Even his “Black Swan” was not without controversy as to who was doing all the dancing there.

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  5. CineMuseFilms

    I understand you Sean; this one can hurt. But there is a lot happening inside this film. My review concludes that “Whatever else it may be, this is a masterpiece of political and social satire”.

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    1. Sean Post author

      There was too much happening for me to convert any of the imagery and allusions into any type of coherent allegory. Aronofsky’s interpretations have changed so significantly from Q&A to Q&A that it makes me think there isn’t any theme and the movie’s sole function is as a Rorschach test. Which isn’t without merit in and of itself but without a coherent theme, as a piece of cinema Mother is just “sound and fury, signifying nothing”.

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      1. CineMuseFilms

        Love your analogy with a Rorschach test. Yeah, I see your point. But on the other hand, there is more “coherence” in film then we often find among the randomness of life so I’m one who thinks narrative coherence is over-rated. Give me more “sound and fury”. Cheers.

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  6. Carrie Rubin

    Son and I went to this over the weekend. Surprisingly we both really liked it. Once I figured out the religious undertones I found the symbolism pretty fascinating. He and I are still talking about it. Maybe he thinks there’s hope for me yet.

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    1. Sean Post author

      Well I’m glad there is hope for you. I wasn’t too worried!

      I have enjoyed discussing this movie since seeing it so that’s a mark in its favour and makes me glad to have seen it even if I didn’t actually like the film.

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  7. dbmoviesblog

    Following from my comment above,now that I have seen the film I can say that I liked it more than you, because I enjoy generally the slide to hell or whatever one may call it (well, I am probably one of those few ppl on this planet who liked both Brimstone and Antichrist lol), but I had some BIG issues with this film in terms of originality. It was distracting for me seeing this movie because I kept thinking about other stuff Aronofsky has done.

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  8. thedanny1972

    just saw the film yesterday. didn’t enjoy the movie much when I watched but it is giving me a lot to think about today. many hollywood blockbusters are the oppostie enjoyable to watch and then you forget about them soon afterwards. One more brilliant performance from Jennifer Lawrence and although I’ve never been impressed by Javier bardem he was spot on perfect for this role. Damn brilliant. Movie needs much more dialogue not quite in the Terrance mann vein but still lacking on clear explanations of what the heck is going on and why.

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  9. Pingback: TIFF’s Famous Dates | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

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