TIFF 2017 Review: mother! is the Most Daring Film of the Year
mother! is easily the most daring film of the year. It tells the story of a nameless couple referred to only as him and mother. Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) cares for the home they live in and tries to rebuild it after a fire. He (Javier Bardem) is more concerned with his poetry and the notoriety that comes with it. As the film continues, they receive an expected visitor followed by his wife and the husband allows them into the house without consulting his wife. This couple brings chaos and disarray to mother’s home. The film continues on the same path of the husband not caring for his wife or her feelings as he allows more people into their home. Once she becomes pregnant, she thought it’d change but the following actions prove otherwise.
mother! is a seriously disturbed film and shouldn’t be taken on lightly. Darren Aronofsky’s disturbing visuals and psychological mindf**cks are frightening but nonetheless entertaining. As the film progresses your uncertainty of what will happen increases as well. The visuals in the film don’t hold back at all. They are disquieting and elicit an emotional response on a core level. This is not a horror film but one that reaches to the heart of the audience and rips it out. The effects are chilling and expertly crafted to create a beautifully horrifying film.
Jennifer Lawrence is mesmerizing and heartbreaking as mother. Her performance is raw and emotionally vulnerable. The scene which involves a baby and a crowd is just amazing and blew me away. The husband, played by Javier Bardem is terrifying in his own right. He has this chilling recklessness to him that is spectacular to see play out in the film.
The film has great symbolism and the best part is that it is open to interpretation. It is one of those films where many concepts are at play and each person will interpret it differently. This is due to the superbly written screenplay. The lines of dialogue are spectacular and filled with emotion.
The meaning behind the film was not revealed by Aronofsky during the Q&A and I think that is best. Mother! is best seen with an open mind but be fully prepared for a totally unique and authentic experience. Mother! will leave you destroyed and slightly numb but it is certainly worth the price of admission.