Why ‘mother!’ got an exclamation point
Director Darren Aronofsky says film intended to ‘shake audiences’
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.