Do you remember the last time a movie came out and faced such harsh criticisms? On top of my head was The Da Vinci Code. When it came out in 2006, the church reacted to it that it received an R18 rating in the Philippines! This year, Darren Aronofsky’s mother! has been unfairly bashed by critics and audiences alike! Others are even calling it one of the worst movies of the recent years. I understand where they are coming from but I am obsessed about the film and let me tell me why you should put the film into your consideration.
The Director’s Style
Aronofsky is not your conventional filmmaker. He tends to bend the mind of his audiences with his projects. Take, for example, Black Swan. At its core, it is basically a story of adolescence. Natalie Portman plays a young ballerina who dreams of making it big in the industry. In her journey to achieving a prima ballerina status, she had to overcome several obstacles and the most challenging of which is herself. Aronofsky translates simple plots into complex films through his smart use of metaphors.
In mother!, he takes the story of creation- the oldest story ever told! He personified key characters – God, Mother Earth, Adam, and Eve, among many others- and put them in a cohesive plot under the guise of a house invasion. It is thrilling, heart-pounding, and undoubtedly mind-boggling.
The true strength of the film lies in its tone. The transition from peace to disaster translated well on screen in an abrupt fashion. That resulted in a sense of dread among audiences. It felt as if we were right there at that moment with the characters- particularly mother.
Metaphors and Allegory of mother!
When I saw the movie, I had a hard time wrapping my head around which part of it was controversial. True, decapitating a newborn child was extreme but it happened off-screen. Worse things happened in other movies. It was hard to digest, true, but it is art for art’s sake. A part of me is starting to believe that the true depiction of humanity in the film was the hardest pill for most of the audience to swallow.
The raw portrayal of humans and how they destroyed the once pristine paradise was spot-on. At the end of the day, mother! tried to be honest and subversive. It is a brave film that attempted to get to its point without holding back on shocks, gore, and destruction.
mother! is one of those films that will leave the audiences shocked, thinking, and talking about it for days. It is one that seeks to get polarizing views and succeed in it, it did. I would not be shocked if this becomes a cult classic a few years from now.