mother! ★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

The allusions to Rosemary’s Baby so bold in the trailer are a red herring; indeed, the entire first half of the film, with its haunted house aesthetics, disorientating sound design and suffocatingly intimate framing, is but a diversion from what mother! really is: a satire of middle-aged creative malaise; of the existential trauma of celebrity; of the absurdities of Christian faith; of patriarchal abuse; of our relationship with the earth. Darren Aronofsky takes them all on, as the images on screen evolve (or devolve) into a magical realist fantasy somewhere between Jodorowsky, Bosch and the Bible. And yet, it’s a broader satire than what it pretends to be, which is a sticking point. Another is the utter lack of surprise in its supposedly mind-blowing ending. It left me… whelmed.