Limerick Voice sent our reporter Aoife O’Rourke to see the new movie ‘mother!’, and she was surprisingly quite impressed.
“mother!” tells the story of Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardems strange relationship as man and woman. They live in a beautiful, although very damaged, remote house in the middle of a field of greenery. Bardems’ unnamed character is a dedicated poet who spends most of his time in his office, finding it hard to create another one of his masterpieces. While Jennifer Lawrence’s unnamed character stands by him as a devoted wife who loves him, more than she probably should. Lawrence explains that the damaged house was almost completely ruined in a fire that took place when Bardem was a little boy. She spends her days restoring and renovating the house to make him happy while he struggles from writers block.
Their quiet and peaceful lives are put on hold as they are interrupted by a strange man known in the movie as “man”. At first he says he got lost and was told by someone that they would have room for him to stay. Bardem shares a great bond with this man and decides to invite him to stay the night, without Lawrence’s opinion on the matter. He is soon after joined by his wife, played by Michelle Pfeiffer who is known as “woman” in the movie. It later comes out that “man” is in fact a very devoted fan who just wanted to meet Bardem. Feeling very flattered Bardem takes it upon himself to open the invitation to man and woman to stay for however long they need. If man and woman’s interruption wasn’t enough, their two sons played by Irish brothers Domhnall and Brian Gleeson arrive along with other friends and family. They show a lot of disrespect for Lawrence and her house and this brings a lot of unease to her. The guests were infatuated with Bardem and in return he is just as infatuated with them that he forgets about his wife’s unease and chooses not to care. He is almost oblivious to her presence and needs in the house.
The first hour of the movie seems nothing but ordinary, movie director Darren Aronofsky transforms the entire movie going into the second hour. The second hour is overflowing with some outrageous violence that will make you very confused and even a little sad for Lawrence’s character as most of the violence is put on her. Based on how you feel about it you’ll leave the cinema either thinking its brilliant or soul destroying. The horrific scenes are no surprise to anyone who’s seen Aronofskys films prior to this. He uses the same dark, metaphoric and very surreal ideas. I think Arnofsky seems to have a pattern in his films; he likes to show the most unusual and messed up things happen to innocent women. Aronofsky brings a very biblical sense to this movie; it almost seems like an allegory of religious roles. Throughout the movie you can see different elements from the biblical text. This seems rather strange as Aronofsky has previously said that he is not religious, but in fact atheist. It makes one think about what point he’s really trying to get across.
This film falls under the category of a psychological horror. When a movie is as bizarre and surreal as “mother!”, then there are a lot of metaphors that can be taken from it and so many meanings behind it. Aronofsky and Lawrence talked about how the movie is a representation for climate change, and how humanity has neglected the planet and its needs. If you have this idea in your head before watching the movie, then you’re bound to find it more interesting as you try and put the pieces together.
Jennifer Lawrence was without a doubt the centre of this movie; her exceptional acting brought it to life. You almost feel like you’re watching a live play from the outstanding talent brought by Lawrence and Pfeiffer. Her character spent the entire movie being confused, she seemed almost as confused as the viewers at times, as she asked “what is happening?”. This made me pity her and feel somewhat connected to her character as we shared the confusion.
As soon as the movie ended you could feel the confusion and shock in the theatre, there was a moment of pure silence before people started discussing what they had just seen. Clara O’Brien, a native Limerick girl said in laughter, “that was the worst two hours of my life, it was repulsive. But at the same time I couldn’t bring it upon myself to leave the room. It was horrible but I think I enjoyed it.” While another Limerick native, Tom Kennedy said “I wouldn’t advise anyone to see that, I wish I didn’t. It was a waste of money”. It’s clear that there’s a mix of opinions but it all comes down to the same thing, whether you enjoy it or not, this movie is catastrophic.
So if you think you’re able to sit through Aronofskys brilliant, thought provoking but also soul destroying masterpiece then I advise you to see it. I can’t say it’s the type of movie that will be for everyone, and I agree with the bad reputation this movie has so far, that at times he went way too far. It’s (in my opinion) Aronofskys best work but is guaranteed to leave you disgusted. It’s definitely something worth seeing, although be prepared to leave the film with many, many questions that can’t possibly be answered.
The release date of this movie was on 15th of September and is now available to see in all Limerick cinemas.