Wow. This movie was advertised as a psychological horror film, but what I watched was a clusterfuck of crap that made no sense. Not to mention that the last 45 minutes was just outright offensive. Well I say that not having watched the last 13 minutes to the fullest because I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I skipped through it just to get the main gist of the ending. I wanted to finish it to the fullest for this review, but I just could not finish it. No one should have to go through what I just went through. How Darren Aronofsky thought this film was a good idea is beyond me. I will say that the metaphor of God and how he treats Mother Nature vs human’s is a nice idea. Although, by what you’ve just read, you know that I definitely did not like the execution.
SPOILER ALERT: the next paragraph features not only a spoiler, but a VERY graphic spoiler. Read at your own discretion.
Before I go into what I liked and what I didn’t like, I want to touch on what made me stop the movie. I promised myself I wouldn’t spoil any movie reviewed during Horror Week, but I think you deserve to know what made me stop the film so you’ll know not to watch it. If you don’t want any spoilers, skip over this paragraph. To keep it short and simple, it was practically torture of a baby. It actually shows the baby’s neck being snapped in half. That was technically an accident, but that doesn’t make it any better. You shouldn’t be CROWD SURFING A NEW BORN. Soon after that, I witnessed people eating the baby. What in the actual hell was the purpose of this? And do not say it was for the metaphor. There has to be an actual purpose. Nothing in this film made sense, and it can’t be explained with “it was for the metaphor” because that ain’t it. Ugh. If you can’t tell by now, this review is going to be a rant. Let’s just get onto the things I liked because it’s a short list.
The things I liked:
⁃ like I said before, the idea of the metaphor was nice. Seeing that idea on paper, I would definitely invest in the film, but if I knew what it was going to turn into, I would not have.
⁃ Jennifer Lawrence delivered a solid performance. It was a little shaky at the beginning. There were a few flat lines, but when she had to deliver very dramatic sequences, she delivered well.
⁃ The visuals were good. There was a scene where it showed the house at a distance where Lawrence’s character stood at the door, and it was absolutely stunning.
The things I hated:
⁃ the metaphor didn’t land in any shape or form. I know some people may disagree, and that is perfectly fine. This was a very divisive film, but I think it just landed flat on its face. It tried being so many things, and none of it worked. It tried being political. It tried being spiritual. It tried being inspirational. It tried being emotional. It tried being thrilling. I laughed at the first half of the film, so if that’s thrilling to Aronofsky, he achieved part of his goal.
⁃ It was just offensive. If you read why I skipped through the last 13 minutes of the film, you know why. There was so much torture that was uncalled for. It showed things that shouldn’t be shown in any film. It went too far trying to be a deep and meaningful film.
⁃ Ridiculous creative decisions. I feel like some of these decisions were made just for the fun of it. There was no purpose to any of it except maybe shock factor. In that case, I guess it worked, but not in a good way.
⁃ There were things that happened that were never explained as far as I know. There were so many hidden messages in this film so I might’ve missed it. I won’t go into detail, but Javier Bardem’s character tried hiding something from JLaw’s character. It was never explained why that was there or why he tried hiding it from her.
⁃ It tried be sophisticated. There are many sophisticated films out there, and none of them would’ve done the things Mother! did, but yet, it seemed like Aronofsky thought differently. A movie where only one character is given a name while everyone else is “Him”, “Woman”, “Man”, “Fool”, etc. is just shouting “I’m sophisticated” on the rooftop. No one really listened though because it lied. It’s anything but sophisticated.
⁃ The furnace scene towards the beginning made me angry. This is a small detail which isn’t really much of a spoiler so I will touch on it a little bit. It’s practically a rehash of the furnace scene in Insidious. Female lead walks in basement, gets scared of dark corner, and furnace comes on to scare them. I know it’s a small scene, but it just angered me that people can’t come up with something new. I can’t confirm that Aronofsky purposely stole this scene from the Insidious franchise, but it’s still disappointing to see such a simple scene in two horror films. It wasn’t needed in Mother! It added nothing to the story so I don’t see why they didn’t take it out.
There’s much more I could say about this film, but I think I’m gonna stop with the list. I feel terrible because everyone worked their asses off for this film. The actors put time and effort into this along with everyone behind the camera. I can’t say I respect Aronofsky’s decisions with this film, but I do respect him for working hard on a film he believed in. He believed in this film, and everyone else that worked on this film went along with him.
I’m happy I waited so long to watch this film though because I don’t think I could’ve handled it when it came out. I definitely would’ve walked out of the theater halfway through the film. Even though I believe I still wasn’t ready to watch it, I’ve grown a lot in the past 2 years so I’m more ready now than I was when it came out.
I apologize for this rant. I just had to get that out. I also apologize for my harsh review. Especially to everyone who worked on the film. I still respect all of them for working hard. With that said, I give this film a…
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