‘Mother!’ is a philosophical thriller that falls short

Sergio Muñoz, Contributor

Three years since his last movie, “Noah” Darren Aronofsky has returned with “Mother!,” his new film with Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem in the main roles. This time, Aronofsky decided to focus on the horror genre, getting closer to what we saw in “Black Swan” but with a completely different story.

This movie focused on a couple who live in a house in the middle of a forest. Bardem plays a writer who has not had success lately with his plays and the tension between them feels tough. Things start to change when a new couple, played by Michelle Pfieffer and Ed Harris, arrives at their house, arguing they are admirers of Bardem’s character and asking for lodging.

Aronofsky, who also wrote the script, presents a good plot that starts changing with the actions of the different performances.

The performances are great, and Bardem is the best in the film. The problem here is that, while Lawrence offers a good performance, it feels that the character was not made for her and that another actress could have played the role better. Even the relation of her character with Bardem’s feels out of place and with no chemistry compared to Michelle Pfieffer and Ed Harris, although they have few minutes on screen.

The movie is efficient technically. The cinematography is well done creating an environment of mystery. The set decoration is fine, considering the film is set entirely in the house. We do not see the typical horror film with the typical jump scares. Aronofsky’s direction offers this new mode of horror film with a philosophical touch. Aronofsky wants to make the audience think about what is happening in every scene until the end. Even though “Mother!” is the second horror film of September, with It” as the first one, it is impossible to compare both, since Aronofsky’s movie feels more like an independent film with other philosophical purposes in mind.

From the beginning of the movie, we start feeling a strange atmosphere in the environment of the characters. We find this movie to be a puzzle that we need to put together as the story progresses because every scene with every dialogue, action and moment brings a new piece to the puzzle. This movie does not present a concrete narrative, however it is dedicated to creating itself with fragments of events that are occurring to the couple, creating a random sequence every time a new scene comes to the screen, and taking us to a strange but incredible end that leaves us wondering what is the purpose of the movie. Even at the end of the film, we feel that the puzzle is incomplete because of the different elements in the movie that we could not link, and we realize that every person will have their own perception of the movie and their own puzzle.

Aronofsky presents a good movie that is not on the same level as The Wrestler” or “Black Sun,” but it is good in every moment. Mother!” is intended to make people think beyond the end. That end is going to make people reflect about the movie even if they are at home or at work. The film is good to watch with friends in order to analyze it together, but at the end it is going to be almost impossible to get a definite conclusion of it. Which makes people want to watch it more than once.

Grade 84/100