mother! – Classic Review. By Julius Tabel.
Darren Aronofsky created yet another fantastic and sick movie with “Mother!”. Watching this on April Fools day, the biggest joke I noticed was that Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, and Aronofsky were all nominated at the Razzies for their work. I mean, this is certainly one of those movies that not everybody likes, but everybody will agree that the performances and the direction were on point. “Mother!” is in its entirety one single climax that gets crazier and crazier with every second, which is why I absolutely loved it.
After seeing just three of his seven features, Darren Aronofsky turns out to be one of my favorite directors claiming the number 2 spot in my Directors Ranked list. Nobody can create horror quite like him. I love how he perfects his character ́s transition into madness. “Mother!” may be very much his craziest and most surreal movie, but I think that ́s exactly why I loved it so much. Although I feel a pinch of David Lynch, Aronofsky ́s approach is quite unique and really superb.
Without asking any questions, he puts the viewer in a position that feels mysterious, but still very normal at first. But the more time we spent with the protagonist discovering the surroundings, we find out that we are in a lonely house in the middle of nowhere. It feels normal, but yet we are in a very surrealistic world. With every second the events catch up to the surrealism and join in in confusing the viewer ́s mind. “Mother!” is a sick – a very sick piece of craziness. Call it senseless, call it exaggerated, but I absolutely loved this craziness.
The thing that I found to be most interesting was the pacing. “Mother!” is one big climax that is stretched out for a very long time. At first, it feels peaceful, and out of nowhere endless noises appear and suddenly you find yourself in a massive crowd intensely panicking for an escape into silence only to find out that the silence is the true scary thing. When the vociferation silences, “Mother!” will grab you and throw you on the edge of your seat. I was constantly afraid of a jumpscare or the next mind-blowing thing.
Aronofsky tells a one-sided story. The focus is on Jennifer Lawrence all the time, and the camera never leaves her. Overall, the cinematography felt very close to the characters which made things very personal and mysterious. In order to do this, you need a very good protagonist, and well, in my opinion, Jennifer Lawrence was amazing. We can embody her pretty well because we are just as confused as she is. We follow her step by step and while I enjoyed the craziness, I could also feel her pain very much.
Furthermore, “Mother!” is very uncomfortable and sometimes even disgusting. The ignorance of other people even triggered my nerves from time to time which is a signal that I was tied to the plot. I can understand that some might find this repetitive knocking on your head that everybody around is discourteous very annoying, but for me, it made this entire madness way more intense. Not to forget that the biblical and apocalyptical circumstances at the end are just out of this world; I totally didn ́t expect it to go that far. “Mother!” made me scream, it made me scared, and it even drove me a bit into madness myself. I loved this experience.
All in all, you could very much argue that “Mother!” is way over the top from time to time, but I loved the madness and the mystery beneath it. It was sick, it was thought-provoking, and it was a crazy experience. Aronofsky certainly didn ́t make something for everybody, but if you love surrealism combined with horrific madness, this is a perfect fit.
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