Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer
After being surrounded by a lot of secrecy and speculation during its production and following two chaotic premieres in Venice and Toronto International Film Festival, Mother!, the latest Darren Aronofsky film, has just landed in theaters to remind us two things: firstly, that society is distorted and twisted, and secondly, that Aronofsky is still one of the best contemporary film directors. Although Mother! is the perfect excuse for discomfort and you will either love it or hate it, this cinematic experience is a total masterpiece.
The film follows the story of a North American couple (Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem) who, in the middle of a visit by two uninvited guests (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) start to see their relationship crumble, ultimately pushing them to do things that they were not expecting. A mixture of horror, mystery, and drama, Mother! is a metaphor for how the world was created and a crooked analogy of how society struggles to reach salvation no matter the consequences.
Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan) is an expert in messing with spectators’ feelings and Mother! is no exception. Everything is so well orchestrated that from the first minute the message seems to be very clear; there are no stops in this film. The screenplay, also by Aronofsky, is a solid work that carries the movie into three acts with brilliant climaxes. There are some remarkable scenes that make this film something unique. Mother! starts as a typical mystery film that with every change of scene evolves to become a rollercoaster of emotions.
That, plus the amazing performances of the entire cast, make this film an unforgettable adventure. While Bardem, Harris, and Pfeiffer offer delightful performances portraying edgy characters, it’s Lawrence who steals the show. She’s probably one of the best parts of this psychedelic puzzle and besides her past Academy Award nominations (Winter’s Bone, American Hustle, Joy) and win (Silver Linings Playbook), this is the best work of her career. Mother! may be too dark to be a contender in the next awards season; however, it wouldn’t be a surprise if one the cast members earned a nomination.
It is not the typical easy-to-watch movie and it may definitely irritate some spectators; that said, this film carries a meaningful idea that perfectly embodies our current world-wide context. Mother! is kind of an encrypted message of reality: beautiful, dark and disturbed.