Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence are unable to cope with the hordes of adoring fans that arrive at their house in the allegorical horror film, mother! (Paramount Pictures image)

Reel Reviews: Old release worth seeing through new eyes

We say, “mother! is a brilliant, disturbing movie, especially if view it with the correct eyes.”

Released on Netflix recently is Darren Aronofsky’s mother! starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer. This film came to Kelowna but did not make it to Vernon and Howe and I thought we should review a film worth mentioning rather than the latest Jackass shenanigans.

This film, mother!, tells the story of a frustrated poet (Bardem) and his loving wife (Lawrence) who are rebuilding their previously burnt home, located in a pristine field, all by itself, all by themselves. A stranger arrives (Harris) needing help and he is welcomed into their home. It isn’t long before his estranged wife (Pfeiffer) shows up and is welcomed in the home.

Lawrences’ character, named Mother, is suspicious of these strangers, but as she trusts and adores her husband who says they are inspiring him to finally write again, she allows it. After he completes his latest work, which we don’t get to appreciate but is apparently the most beautiful thing ever created, hundreds of followers arrive to pay tribute to the poet and in the chaos murder their brand new baby boy and attack the wife. In retaliation she sets fire to the house. Perhaps she set the original fire.

We say, “mother! is a brilliant, disturbing movie, especially if view it with the correct eyes.”

HOWE: This film is beautiful, dark and sinister in some cases. The music gives it another dimension in the scare factor but what really breathes life into the horror of this film is Lawrence’ and Bardem’s performances. Lawrence with her naivety and love towards her husband and Bardem for the weirdness going on around him, acting like he is some sort of saviour.

TAYLOR: Watching the movie is like solving a beautiful puzzle that’s already put together, where the solution is understanding what the puzzle means. I was unable to grasp the metaphor while in the thick of viewing the film. I knew there was a message being sent, but I couldn’t figure it out. Viewing the film ostensibly leads me to believe this is all just a horrible nightmare. I liked mother! — it is a powerhouse of a film. But it was only after I viewed it that I sought out its meaning.

HOWE: I haven’t seen what the director has to say about the movie, but I have to say I found it pretty disturbing towards the end. I am curious now about it and I will have to watch what he has to say about it. It is a really strange movie, slowly picking away at you, getting under your skin making you unable to look away just in case you missed some tiny clue as to what is going on. I still have no idea.

TAYLOR: A lot of people hate this film because it seems to make no sense, or at least, provides no answers. However, having heard Aronofsky talk about the film on Youtube provided a key to understanding the metaphor. I will share this key with you in the hopes that you will watch the film, perhaps again, to view it with the right eyes. I think I’m going to watch this film several more times, there are so many layers. I can provide this key without spoiling the movie as it’s a story we’re all very familiar with. However, if you would like to watch mother! and try to figure it out yourself, stop reading now. It’s actually pretty simple, everything is representative and clues are given in the characters names: Mother (Lawrence) is Mother Nature, or just nature. Him (Bardem) is God. The house is the Earth. Man (Harris) is Adam. Woman (Pfieffer) is Eve. Later in the film, their two sons arrive, fighting about the will. One kills the other. They are Cain and Abel. The son of Mother and Him, is killed by the hordes of the strangers that arrive at the house, they are humans, he is Jesus Christ. On and on it goes. Armed with this information, check out this artistic, disturbing movie from within this paradigm. It’s on Netflix.

Howe gives mother! 3 broken sinks out of 5.

Taylor gives it 5 broken minds out of 5.

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