REVISED: Wrote this review originally last weekend but website was down. Thought about the movie even more (I guess that was the point?) and have added just a few more coherent thought about why all the allegory, symbolism, ideals stuff didn’t work for me
I saw mother! yesterday and have had more time to think about the film with all its allegory cocktails, symbolism surprises, and imagery ice cream sundaes, and I still fucking hate the movie. Sorry, it just isn’t for me. If you like bullshit by Terrence Malick or Paul Thomas Anderson, this film is right up your alley. Now if this was a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, you’d be reading this saying, “well no shit Sherlock, the only thing you marginally have liked of his was Boogie Nights, you are completely biased.” Well yes, to him I am. I think PTA ruins everything he touches. *shrugs* But this is Darren Aronofsky, and I have liked every single one of this films (yes, including Pi), except for The Fountain, which I didn’t really hate, but I thought it was an ambitious failed attempt at creating something artistic and unique while also catering to my cinematic senses. mother! is just bullshit at every twist and turn. It’s one of those many, what I like to call “artsy fartsy” films, that fail to grab me narratively, coherently, or sanely but at the same time it is beautifully shot and acted. Beautiful nasty, garbage that completely falls out of its stinky bin and all over the pavement and your shoes in it’s bizarre third act. An insane twisted sadistic third act where a truly messed up event happens that effected me personally, where I just wanted to get up and leave the theater. But I implore you, it wasn’t the last string cut to make me hate the film, it was just severely beating and maiming a dead horse that I had already hated about 40 minutes earlier.
****minor spoiler hint alert**** If you are about to have a baby or have just had a baby, I encourage you to not see this film until time has passed a bit. It is still jarring, this scene, but it might not make you as upset as it did for me ****end of minor spoiler hint alert**** This movie is completely polarizing. You are either going to like it, or extremely loathe the existence it lives on. I am not trying to convince you at all not to see this movie. I think you should see each and every movie you are interested in. I’m just here to give my opinion on what I thought. And I just hated, hated, HATED this movie. And I got everything in it when I saw it. I don’t need a second viewing to “get it.” There is this great article that I posted on my Facebook page that explains everything about mother! and what this and that means. I got it from the very, very beginning of the film that is kind of a spoiler in itself. And I still hated this film. I think narratively and sanely it could’ve portrayed everything it was trying to tell in a more satisfying manner, not to the point where the film is so boring or jarring that it gives you a headache and you just want to take a pen and stab your eyes out from ever having to see one more frame of it.
The symbolism and allegory stuff didn’t work for me. I don’t think it did it in a very original way. This movie was about the allegories, instead of being a unique story that happened to contain some semblance of symbolism. Since every single one of the people have symbolism, allegory, something something religious behind it, I couldn’t really identify with any of the characters or cared about them. And instead of trying to be very sneaky and trying to hide a lot of the references or make people think about the movie harder to get them. EVERYTHING IS IN YOUR FACE. It is like Aronofsky is screaming, “SEE?! DO YOU GET IT?! DO YOU GET IT?!” on everything that hits the screen. It wasn’t subtle, I was being spoon fed every piece of the garbage, and I was full of it from minute 15.
Yeah, I’m still being harsh. But I do not hate Darren Aronofsky, even though he is dating Jennifer Lawrence, which makes me upset. I just think he’s…misguided. I think mostly he is what Paul Thomas Anderson is so trying desperately to be…but horror-wise. I loved Black Swan, I loved Requiem for a Dream, both movies you could consider to be horror. And what he was trying to tell absolutely worked in both of those films on so many levels, it was mesmerizing. To me, mother! does not work on one single level other than the acting and cinematography. You are probably waiting for me to tell you what this movie is about, but honestly, I really can’t. To tell you what it is about, you would not believe me, think I’m nuts, or you wouldn’t get it. I can tell you the basic set up is a man and woman live in this abandoned home that she is trying to rebuild from ashes…and they start getting guests, played by Ed Harris, Michelle Phieffer, Domnahall Gleeson, and Kristen Wiig, that starts to rock their very existence. Even then, that isn’t want the movie is about, if you ever see this, you’ll know what I am talking about.
Everyone in here acts in aces. Jennifer Lawrence is incredible as always. Javier Bardem is incredible as always. Ed Harris….incredible as always. A much missed Michelle Phieffer…incredible as always. The only person that took me out of the film would happen to be Kristen Wiig, who I just can’t take seriously, other than the film The Skeleton Twins. And the shots in this thing are beautiful. For most of the film Darren Aronofsky follows Jennifer Lawrence is long takes around the house, where she is going from one room to another to figure out what is going on and to find a little bit of sanity, and those long shots work and are very impressive.
But I hated this film. It is the worst film of the year for me (beating out contenders 9/11 and Fifty Shades Darker) and it is one of the worst films I have ever seen (just behind Halloween II ((Rob Zombie version)) and Dude, Where’s My Car?). If you like it, that’s fine, there is nothing wrong with you, it’s just that what the film brought to the table, it worked for you, and you played with it, where as what I saw on the table, made me kick it over and set it on fire. It’s a huge misstep for writer/director Darren Aronofsky, and if he keeps going in this direction, which for the love of God I hope he doesn’t, probably won’t be his last. I wish I could get 2 hours of my life back.