Arts & Culture

Review: ‘Mother!’ experimental but ineffective


“Mother!” is the newest film from acclaimed writer and director Darren Aronofsky. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence as Mother and Javier Bardem as Him. Bardem’s Him is a successful writer with a severe case of writer’s block, and Lawrence’s Mother is a woman fixing up the house they moved into. Then Ed Harris, who plays Man, shows up and begins to stay at their house with them. Soon his wife, Woman, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, arrives at the house to create more chaos in the life of this couple.

The thing I enjoyed most about “Mother!” were the performances. Jennifer Lawrence does a good job in her role. Her character can sometimes feel very thin, but she brings so much that it never bothered me while watching it. Javier Bardem is fantastic as always and really adds to the weird atmosphere the film is trying to achieve. Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer are also great in this film.

What I didn’t really like about “Mother!” were the themes presented in the film. It is definitely more experimental with its approach. And it is particularly heavy-handed. The film has plenty of ideas that you can take out of it, but I found that once I figured out the overarching message of the film, it became less interesting.

I personally believe that “Mother!” is not really made for most general audiences. It does have a conventional narrative that you can follow, but the last twenty minutes are so crazy that I found it very hard to follow, which would explain the F rating on Cinemascore. If you do plan on seeing this film, I would just tell you that it is not typical and just to embrace that.

Aronofsky has shown in all of his work that he is an unapologetic filmmaker. His films aren’t usually accessible to normal audiences, and this film is no exception. Walking out of the cinema, I did not really love it as much as I hoped. The film will no doubt spark a discussion among those who have seen it, but I felt like the film was thinking it had this deeper meaning that just came across too heavy-handed.

This article first appeared in the Friday, October 6, 2017, Edition of The Echo.