Darren Arronofsky directs mother!, a drama set in a peculiar house, as we follow follow Javier bardem and Jennifer Lawrence’s characters – mother and him respectively as they live together in a seemingly idyllic house as strangers turn up and come inside, turning their lives around. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brendan Gleeson, Domnhall Gleeson and Kristen Wiig.
Ah mother!, there’s so much to say and everything has already been said by this point but this is a film that I’d wanted to see for quite a while but never got around to…. but I did…. and honestly it didn’t do too much for me. Arronofskys’ work is quite impactful, he creates thought provoking, sometimes hard to watch cerebral dramas and you may have gone into the film thinking it would be more of the same.
And you’d be mostly right…. minus the impact, the story is as visceral as it gets, with events unfolding pretty much at random, much to Mother (Jennifer Lawrences) chagrin and as thing goes on, you sort of get the point that the story is going for, it’s very on the nose and I feel that takes away from the ultimate impact that the director was aiming for. Looking back on the film as a whole in fact, it feels more like an elaborate arthouse stage play than a Hollywood film and its nature and tone are understandably what rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way, making it easily one of the most divisive films of 2017.
The performances are okay, though the nature of the story doesn’t really allow anyone to shine and do too much outside of being archetypes which is a shame, nevertheless Jennifer Lawrence still gives an enthusiastic performance with the fairly thin script that she probably had to work with. Because of what the story’s going for, the writing has to be a bit obtuse, enigmatic and thin but that’s no real excuse in my view and it’s bad, pretty bad with the way some of the lines get delivered being at best repetitive and at worst outright bad. And again that’s not Jennifer Lawrence or any other actors fault, it’s what they had to work with.
I get what Arronofsky was going for and writing the film out of a place of frustration and anger explains a lot of it but it just isn’t that impactful or hard hitting as it wishes it was, taking on a very on the nose allegory of biblical and theological motifs that doesn’t really make any meaningful point, let alone anything you haven’t heard before. Emotion can be a great avenue and inspiration for a film but take it with a pinch of salt, if we got a film made every time a director was in a place of anguish and frustration over the course of a couple of days, we’d one – have a lot more films out in general and two – have quite a few more pieces of cinematic garbage out as well, so take it as you wish.
. Plot solicits some pretty awful writing
. Very on the nose allegory, a feels a bit pretentious