A Review of “mother!”

by Trevor Jones

Writer-director, Darren Aronofsky, often known for his disturbing and controversial approach to filmmaking, has released his newest feature-film, mother!, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem.

Before I get into the details, two things. One: this is probably one of the most absurd films you’ll ever see, so brace yourself. Two: mother! is NOT a horror film whatsoever. Although the film has an frightening atmosphere, don’t expect to be scared.

Technically, mother! is flawless. It effectively uses sound and visuals to keep the audience invested. Veteran cinematographer, Matthew Libatique, intentionally refrains from using static, or establishing shots. Instead, Libatique uses a series of handheld, close-ups of Lawrence that instill a feeling of eeriness.

Another highlight of mother! is its sound design. Despite having Jóhann Jóhannson credited as the composer, there isn’t a score. Instead, the film has a soundscape full of creaks, whistles, and other ambient acoustics that makes it seem that the house is alive.

After mother! cut to black, I immediately thought, what the hell did I just watch? At first, I thought it was just another pretentious, wannabe art-house film. But after a lot of thought, I realized that mother! is brilliant because it is one those movies where it really made me appreciate the power of cinema.

Aronofsky was able to saturate his film with symbolism to create an extremely intelligent allegory that kept me thinking about it for days. I want to go into my interpretation, but I feel that people should see the film for themselves considering that you can decipher it in a multitude of ways.  

In conclusion, I highly recommend mother!. And if you do see it, tell me what you think!