Mother! is one of those artsy films. On the surface it’s a psychological thriller, but once you peel back the layers you’ll see the undertones, symbolism, and metaphors scattered across the film. I appreciate movies like this if done correctly and with the right actors. Frankly, if Jennifer Lawrence was replaced with an actress with more depth and emotion, I think I would’ve connected with the movie more.
Mother! demanded your attention from the beginning. The home, which the entire movie is set, appears burned to ash until Him (Javier Bardem) places a crystal with distinctive glow-like markings on a mantel. Upon returning the crystal to its stand, the house magically transforms back to its original state and a woman is created from the ashes; enter mother (Jennifer Lawrence). The tone of the movie began to change with the arrival of the man (Ed Harris) as he thought the house was an inn. Though a mistake, Him allows the man to stay to mother’s dismay. The next day the man’s wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) arrives at the home, then their two sons. Then all hell breaks loose.
My take on the film is plucked straight from the bible. Him is God, the man is Adam, the woman is Eve, the two sons are Cain and Abel, and mother is the mother of mankind. Without completely spoiling the movie for you, let’s just say the house became chaotic toward the end of mother’s pregnancy. Him is a poet who had a writing dry spell before she became pregnant. But the impending birth of their first child, inspired Him to write again. Upon the release of his new book, the weirdness picked up again with the arrival of a handful of fans which turned into a horde. What started as a small book signing turned into rave then looting then human trafficking/imprisonment to a war zone.
The mob of hundreds swarming about the house represented us: our greed, selfishness, sin, and lack of humanity. Through the heinous chaos, Him forgave the people and begged mother to forgive as well, but she could not.
The film is strongly layered and deserves a watch, with an open mind. Now, I’m not going out of my way to recommend it but the movie was a thought-provoking and reflective watch. So, if you ever find yourself in one of those mood, watch it.