Most of my reviews so far have been from movies I’ve seen several times. If not several times, I’ve at least been able to enjoy them from the comfort of my own living room. For new releases, I find that it’s helpful to come home from the theater and either talk about the film at length or write a short phrase or synopsis to better remember it. I’m glad, however, that I did not do that with this movie. I watched “mother!” several days ago, and if I wrote a review that same night, it would be completely different than the one I’m about to write now. See, my first reaction to this movie was that I hated it. Not “didn’t like it that much” or “wasn’t for me”, but I seriously did not enjoy it at all. Halfway through the movie I was ready to walk out, that’s how unbelievably stressful this movie was. Not only stressful, but confusing too. This movie has no plot, and Javier Bardem’s character is catalyzing everything, but his motivations are unclear/nonexistent. Since then, I’ve learned that this movie is a metaphor for the book of Genesis in the Bible. I honestly love this concept, but I wish the movie itself made this a bit clearer. There are subtle hints (very subtle), but the few lines of dialogue are too broad to draw any sort of conclusion. Jennifer Lawrence plays mother nature, so spoiler alert, it doesn’t turn out well for her. Understanding what the film is based on makes me like it more, but I think a film should stand on it’s own, without requiring internet research.
After taking a step back and a deep breath, it’s hard to deny the talent behind the camera. Darren Aronofsky does a brilliant job showing us every little detail about the house, the only setting in the entire movie. And although I was very stressed toward the end, the effects and the scenes were visually stunning. I still can’t point to any one scene and say “That was good, I liked that.” Which is kind of an issue for me, but maybe that says less about the movie, and more about the Bible. Either way, good or bad, I cannot stop thinking about this movie. I don’t think any review can prepare you for the madness, but this movie is worth watching for the after discussion alone. Happy Watching!