Mother! is a Ålm very much like sand. Every time you think you come close to grasping it in your hands, it manages to Ånd a way to slip through your Ångers and fall apart.
Both arresting and confronting, Mother! is a vivid (and sometimes quite graphic) story that doesn’t always seem to want to give you answers. And that’s exactly the point of the Ålm.
Jennifer Lawrence is the unnamed titular character, a woman living in an isolated home with her poet husband.
After rebuilding the house from the ashes of a Åre, they’ve grown accustomed to their tranquil existence (despite their relationship being painfully strained) until a stranger comes knocking late at night.
What snowballs from here is an interwoven storyline that could be metaphorical for any number of things; the contrast between celebrity and personal lives, motherhood, creation and ownership, even hell and its demons to a certain extent.
With two distinct acts set in the narrative and Lawrence the sole driving force of the Ålm, it can be overwhelming at times to endure, and there are moments when the story can drag because of the lack of solid answers.
Be warned also that there are some graphic scenes during the climax of the story.
Stylistically, director Darren Aronofsky cannot be faulted.
His mastery of camera work puts the audience directly in Lawrence’s personal space nearly the entire way through the movie, creating an emotional investment that allows us to connect with her in a way that her character alone wouldn’t be able to, as she is more of an observer than an active participant in many scenes.
Lawrence can’t quite fully connect, however, with Javier Bardem as her husband, though this is more character design than any lack of chemistry between them.
As a writer with a streak of narcissism, Bardem almost completely ignores the attentions of his wife, which is just the beginning of what slowly drives Lawrence to sheer madness.
This is certainly one Ålm guaranteed to keep you thinking (and even keep you awake at night) just to Ågure out what
Mother! was trying to say all along, to the point where another viewing may even be needed, if you can stomach it for a second time.
Or, you can leave it as a Ålm that is designed to be open to interpretation, and realise that perhaps in this case, you will never know the answer.