Meg’s review published on Letterboxd:
So, after coming out of seeing Darren Aronofky's Mother! yesterday, I was in such a state after the final act to even fathom writing a review. After composing myself and getting my mind around the film, I realised I actually have a lot to say about it considering the controversy it is receiving.
The film is about Mother, played incredibly by Jennifer Lawrence, who lives in a house, which she is rebuilding, with her husband known as 'him', Javier Bardem who is a poet struggling with writers block. After a visit from a passerby doctor, Ed Harris, Mother's house starts filling with many many more guests including a woman played by Michelle Pfeiffer. After this, Mother's world starts falling apart bit by bit (possibly an understatement.)
Despite the controversy, I loved this film and believe it is one of Aronosfky's best and is unlike anything I've seen before. The cinematography in the film I felt was very clever. The film is told completely through the eyes of mother and we are mainly shown closeup's of mother's face which made us transfixed with her character completely. This also allows us to understand how much the house means to her, making us upset as the events begin to unfold. The diegetic, ambient sound in this film was a really important factor which I feel some people are missing. You hear every creek in the whole house making it feel alive, like the house is Mother's baby.
I wouldn't describe the film as a horror in the slightest (more thriller) but I can see why Aronofsky chose to market it that way. I feel like it almost prepares you for the madness that unfolds in the third act which completely ripped me apart. It made me feel sick. yep, sick. But in a good way (if that's a thing?) I just honestly couldn't believe how much was being thrown at me and I had my hand across my mouth in shock for at least the last 25 minutes of the film.
I don't believe this film is for a mainstream audience. I saw this with three other people and after the film finished, I turned to them asked if they understood it. In perfect unison they all said "nope." I feel like a mainstream audience wouldn't understand the biblical symbolism that the film is trying to present. After explaining what I got from the film at first look they appreciated it a lot more. I'd love to go into all the details on what I think everything means but I might make a separate post with an analysis as I don't want to spoil it for those who are yet to see it.
I don't have many faults with this film but I'll quickly go over the ones I do have. I felt like the running time seemed a lot longer than what it actually was although this didn't effect me hugely. I also guessed the whole narrative style of the film from the very first scene but that was the only thing I was able to predict. I also don't like the fact that some people are calling this a feminist movie which I feel it is far from. Although Mother seems independent in some scenes, she relies and does everything for the love of her husband.
Overall I really loved this film and really hope more people continue to see it as I really appreciate how people are discussing it which I feel like people will be doing for years to come.