Movie Review: Mother!

Tori Williams
23rd November 2018

*contains spoilers*

Mother! is one of those films that pops up once in a decade. You can find traces of directors like David Lynch (who are known for making abstract surreal films that borderline being pretentious) in the film. The movie has a simple story with a series of confusing sub-plots, all of which are allegories for either religion or the masculine and feminine aspects of life. It leaves it up to the audience to decipher the meaning. The movie is like a weird dream that slowly turns into a nightmare.

No character has a name, and you have no clue what town, state, or country it takes place. Only that it’s in a house in a field. One movie that it made me think about was Eraserhead, an odd David Lynch film that is a surreal, dreamlike movie. Not because of the plot, but because of how the movie progresses. Others have made comparisons to movies like Rosemary’s Baby, which I can see as well. Mother! is a movie for people who appreciates these types of films.

The movie starts out with a girl burning. Then, Javier Bardem places a clear crystal on a stand, and what looks to be a bunt house returns to normal. As the camera pans to a bed room, you see the sheets rise as we are introduced to Jennifer Lawrence’s character. She wakes up looking for Javier. After she finally finds him, they kiss, and Jennifer asks about Javier’s writing to see if any ideas have come to him since he developed writer’s block.

She is then seen patching a wall. She places a hand on the wall and sees a vision of a heart beating. She turns away as she hears a knock on the door, and a man (Ed Harris) is greeted in by Javier. Things start getting weird after the man falls ill. The next day, his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) arrives. This is when things start spiraling down.

She finds a photo of Javier and goes to him about it. It turns out that he is a fan of Javier’s poetry, which sparked a small argument about how Ed is dying and wanted to meet Javier. The next day, Michelle tries to go into Javier’s study, but it is off limits. Ed and Michelle sneak in anyway and accidentally break Javier’s most prized crystal. In a fit of anger, Javier boards his office up. Jennifer begs for the strange couple to leave to no avail.

When the two sons (Domhnall and Brian Gleeson) show up arguing over Ed’s will, the eldest broth kills his younger brother. Javier carries the wounded son to the hospital while the guilty son escapes. While cleaning up the mess, Jennifer sees blood dripping from a weird spot on the concrete wall, and she finds that it is soft enough to pill it off and sees a hinge to a door.

On Javier’s return, he brings a whole bunch of people. When they are forced out, Javier and Jennifer argue and from it a sex scene takes place. The following morning, she awakes and says she is pregnant, and the news inspires Javier to write for the first time in a long while.

Inspiration forms life after death.

Their editor (Kristen Wiig) shows up to talk about the work. Jennifer finally gets to read it, and it brings tears to her eyes.

Reporters show up on their doorstep. More people show up, and utter chaos happens. This is where the movie quickly takes a turn for the worst. More and more people start coming in and stealing from the house. The cops are called, and the place turns into a war zone. Jennifer gives birth in the chaos while her and Javier are locked up in a room. Jennifer won’t let him touch the baby. She falls asleep and when she wakes up, the baby’s gone.

Rating: 6/10
Personal Notes:
This movie will make you feel somewhat uneasy. I went into this movie not knowing what to expect and was presently surprised. I wasn’t expecting to see a movie like this. I loved all of allegories presented. I say go in looking for them and talk to a friend about it. This is a great conversational piece. If you want more movies like this, then google “abstract movies”. You won’t be disappointed.

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