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Jennifer Lawrence – mother
Javier Bardem – Him
Michelle Pfeiffer – woman
Ed Harris – man
Domhnall Gleeson – oldest son
Brian Gleeson – younger brother
I really am unsure what to make of this movie. On one hand it’s an incredibly symbolic piece of drama. On the other it’s a complete mess with an almost unnecessary amount of shit splattered all over the screen for its duration.
My main tip though is to watch mother! with an open mind.
Actually, scrap that – to absorb this movie you’ll need to empty your entire frigging BRAIN..
mother! is one of those rare productions in which the setting is as dark as the strangely comic moments. The direction is undertaken in a dream-like way and ensures the entire movie remains both implausible and understandable. And the cast switch themselves on to sinister mode nicely, delivering characters who are engaging throughout by performing bizarre or interesting antics (Pfeiffer wins the race there).
Many of us have seen things like this before, and in a way this one makes a refreshing change at a time when cinema seems to be recycling the same ideas again and again. mother! is like air freshener amongst shit in that respect. But as unique as it is, it comes across tedious in parts as Lawrence does not much else but wander aimlessly around the set with facial expressions that almost matched mine in the audience (confusion, tiresome, frustration). This movie really is half and half.
There are a few hilariously bizarre moments during the movie I must say, one of which stands out for me because of its randomness: mother (Lawrence) stands watching as her home is invaded by hordes of unknown people. Some begin tearing down walls, a few others strike up a rave in the lounge, a couple who get comfortable on the kitchen sink decide to bounce up and down on it until the entire fixture gives way and an explosive plumber’s nightmare takes place..
All this strange action happening runs in a dream-logic sequence; you know those dreams or nightmares you have where the random (or familiar) people seem to be participating in totally random or irrelevant activity, and the clarity of the dream is extremely vivid? That is what mother! seems to radiate continuously. Praise to the director here for blending the atmospheres of both sleep and awake. It makes entertaining viewing and veers far from the usual path most movies take. And if you’re a fan of the psychological, look no further – this’ll wet your whistle.
mother! is open to interpretation, but it’s not hard to see the main message is slightly biblical with the setting based upon the Garden of Eden. And with it, Adam and Eve (Harris and Pfeiffer), Mother Earth (Lawrence), God (Bardem), and Cain and Abel (Gleeson and Gleeson).
It’s proper strange stuff, but overall it’s a portrayal of the torment of Mother Earth herself – and the movie goes about this in a clever and subtle way.
Be prepared with this one and lose yourself in it, because if you’re not watching properly you’ll miss the deep meaning mother! conveys.