Why ‘mother!’ got an ex­cla­ma­tion point

Di­rec­tor Dar­ren Aronof­sky says film in­tended to ‘shake au­di­ences’

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - ENTERTAINMENT - By An­gela Moore

NEW YORK: Dar­ren Aronof­sky does not just want au­di­ences to watch his new film “mother!” He wants to shake them up and leave them think­ing about his genre-de­fy­ing, sur­real apoc­a­lyp­tic thriller.

“It’s very much a scary film. It’s very much a film that we want to shake au­di­ences,” Aronof­sky told Reuters. “This is def­i­nitely a film that we want peo­ple to be talk­ing about and gig­gling about and an­a­lyz­ing and think­ing about for times to come.”

Aronof­sky, 48, mined the depths and de­scent of the hu­man psy­che in films such as “Re­quiem for a Dream” and “Black Swan.”

With “mother!” Aronof­sky chan­nels his fury with the state of the world into an al­le­gor­i­cal story that re­flects mankind’s self­ish re­la­tion­ship with na­ture, gen­der, pol­i­tics and re­li­gion.

The film cen­ters on Jen­nifer Lawrence, a beau­ti­ful, naive young woman newly mar­ried to an older writer (Javier Bar­dem) who’s suf­fer­ing from writer’s block, as the two set­tle down into the writer’s se­cluded home.

As Lawrence’s char­ac­ter, an em­bod­i­ment of Mother Na­ture, slowly ren­o­vates the prop­erty, two strangers, played by Michelle Pfeif­fer and Ed Harris, turn up at their doorstep and kick off a se­ries of events that blur the lines of re­al­ity and es­ca­late into chaos.

“I was in­ter­ested in the home­in­va­sion genre,” the di­rec­tor said. “The kind of feel­ing of peo­ple com­ing into your home that won’t leave. Turn­ing that into a night­mare was the jour­ney we wanted to take au­di­ences on. Then we had this other big idea of like try­ing to cap­ture what it feels like to be in 21st-cen­tury America, which is a crazy time right now.”

“mother!’ sharply split crit­ics as it screened at film fes­ti­vals in Venice and Toronto earlier this month.

Aronof­sky said he wel­comed the mixed re­ac­tion. “We wanted to make some­thing big and loud, and also some­thing that’s im­me­di­ate,” he said. “I want everyone to know, ‘Hey man, you only come if you want to go on the roller­coaster and hold your arms up and scream into the abyss.’ That’s why [mother!] got an ex­cla­ma­tion point.”

The film cen­ters on Jen­nifer Lawrence, a beau­ti­ful, naive young woman newly mar­ried to an older writer.

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