Mother! (2017) Review

Mother! (2017)

Directed & Written by Darren Aronofsky

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The plot follows a young woman whose tranquil life with her husband at their country home is disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious couple.

My Opinion:

Okay, I wasn’t going to go to this since I can’t say I’ve ever exactly loved a Darren Aronofsky movie. But I do like some f*^ked up shit and this looked like it was probably some f*^ked up shit, so… I went after a crappy day at work to “unwind”. So relaxing. 😉 Mainly, I’m annoyed that I paid full price. This is why I only go on cheap day or to a non-chain cheap cinema! One ticket & small nachos? Just under £15. Seriously?! F*^k off! Anyway – I didn’t hate this but should’ve waited for Netflix.

I’m curious where I’d rank this against all the Aronofsky films I’ve seen. Okay – I’m gonna do it! “Favorite” to least favorite (although I love none of them):

The Wrestler
Black Swan
Requiem For A Dream
Mother!
Pi

Well, I guess Mother! is pretty low (and I must admit I remember zero of Pi now other than the ending). I know Aronofsky likes his allegories & his symbolism and all that stuff that people either love or call pretentious bullshit. I think the most annoying thing about Mother! is that it’s just far too blatant this time.

I honestly don’t know what to write about this one. I think it may shock some people but, hey – it’s an Aronofsky film. He still doesn’t come anywhere near David Cronenberg when it comes to f*^ked up shit (I love Cronenberg’s older films). I do kind of love it when people who aren’t full-on movie geeks (like us weirdo bloggers) do zero research into what a movie is about & end up going to something like THIS knowing nothing other than that they like the stars in it or the look of the poster or whatever. I’d love to see their reactions to this one! Mother! is the kind of film you’d recommend to a mainstream movie lover who you hate just to piss them off and make them think you may be a complete psycho for recommending it, therefore hopefully resulting in them never talking to you again. Hmm. I like that description. That should be on the movie’s poster.

For me, I actually didn’t hate Mother! I thought the first half of the movie was pretty good. I liked its atmosphere & the way the floorboards creaked and how this lovely old house felt alive (as it’s meant to feel). It was like a rather straightforward haunted house thriller to begin with. But, of course, it’s an Aronofsky film so it’s nothing of the sort. Lawrence’s slow descent into madness was done well and I do think she’s a very good actress despite the fact that people seem to be growing to dislike her in real life. You really can’t fault her performance here, although Portman did it better in Black Swan (but Portman also had a much better script to work with). Her hair was awesome, too. Although I assume it was a wig? It was super long. I want pretty braids like that. As for Javier Bardem, Ed Harris & Michelle Pfeiffer? A bit weak, to be honest. Well, Pfeiffer was okay (was glad she was in this – I’m a fan). Again, though, I think that’s more the fault of the material they had to work with.

My biggest problem with the film was the f*^ked up shit I was so looking forward to and which took ages to finally happen. The f*^ked up shit is what I was waiting for! It’s like the movie Society – I kind of love it but it’s an AWFUL film. It’s just that last half hour or so that I love. Now that’s some f*^ked up shit! In Mother!, however, I ended up more bored than shocked at the end. And, let’s face it – we all know it’s an allegory so it’s not like these things are actually happening to these characters. Well, it’s actually happening in real life to what Lawrence’s character represents. But… Yeah. I dunno. Maybe Aronofsky thinks he might save the planet with the movie’s message but I think we’re doomed anyway so maybe we are all better off watching fun, mainstream blockbusters with no “hidden” message?!

I’d like this movie more if the crazy ass shit at the end hadn’t gone on and on and on and on. And on. And on. And on. And on. It wasn’t the content itself that bothered me, it was that it felt like that final act would never end. I got out of the movie & wondered if I’d been sat there for three hours and was annoyed I hadn’t checked the length beforehand (it’s only 121 minutes). I’m also still annoyed that I paid full price for this movie and that the cheese that came with the nachos was disgusting.

My Rating: 6/10

Oh! I forgot to add that, as far as pretentious shit goes, at least this movie was better than The Neon Demon. I hated that with a passion. Mother! was just… Meh. Which isn’t what I expected. Also, Clint Mansell didn’t do the score for this Aronofsky film. What a shame – it may have helped. His Requiem For A Dream score is a damn masterpiece. Let’s have a listen…

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8 thoughts on “Mother! (2017) Review

  1. Having just seen it and really loved it, I thought I’d chime in. I won’t bother to try and change your mind—I understand your perspective as I’ve been in the same boat (I still don’t care that much for Dan Hertzfeldt’s “The Meaning of Life”, and unlike one friend, I am far from “moved to tears” by it.)

    I think there is an unappreciated art to preparing someone to see a film. Jim Healy was the film programmer at the George Eastman House, and I thought he did the best job of anyone doing this. He’d give an introduction to a film and basically set you up so you can start dining at frame #1. And while I didn’t like every movie I saw when he’d give an introduction, I was always able to at least appreciate its artistic merit.

    Mainstream films have a short-hand: “this is a romantic comedy” is all you need to say for preparation. But Aronofsky is pretty far outside the world of genre conventions. My girlfriend said she read that he didn’t want people to know anything about the film before going in. But you’re going to know _something_. Going in thinking it’s going to be some kind of horror film is WAAY off base. Even thinking it’s a straight narrative story (e.g. “a man and woman living together in a desolate house…”) is going to make you confused as hell. But saying it’s an allegory makes my skin crawl.

    I’m really not sure what the best thing to say is. If you know Biblical tales, there are some moments that may seem familiar. From the get-go, you know you’re in Jennifer Lawrence’s character’s shoes, so that’s key—who is she and what does she want?

    I hope that helps someone like it more than hate it.

    • Thanks for the comment! 🙂 Sorry I’ve fallen so behind on replying. I’m glad that it seems you did appreciate this one. This is certainly one that people will either “get” or they won’t. As for the biblical stuff, I didn’t mind that but it’s also something I’m no expert on. I think the “allegory” (which I do think is the best thing to call this even though it’ll put some people off) was just too obvious for Aronofsky. I think I’d have also liked it more if the end didn’t drag on for soooo long. :-/

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  4. Wow. I’m a big fan of The Neon Demon as well as this. For me I wanted the ending of mother! to go on. I wanted more batshit crazy Shit to happen. I fully get why you didn’t love this and You gave good reasons on why you didnt. I think Requiem is still my favorite movie from Aaronofsky

    • Uh oh… I’m sorry I hated The Neon Demon. 😉 lol. I wanted to like Mother! more. It just felt like it went on & on at the end. Requiem is a very hard watch but, man, that score is a masterpiece. 🙂

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