From the moment I walked out of the cinema I knew this was going to be a hard one to review. About a week has passed since then and as I wrap my head around what I recently saw, a new poster had to be issued out in response to the outrage among critics and audience members alike. Some claim its a masterpiece whilst others testify to it being one of their worst movie experiences they’ve ever had, which leads to the presentation of my minute opinion that’ll be engulfed amidst the void of endless think-pieces that have sprouted since the film’s release. To me, Mother! is a wild experience and one of the most transfixing cinematic experiences I’ve ever witnessed.
One of the main reasons I believe this film will be hard to review is because I don’t want to reveal anything about it, yet if I do, the film’s meaning would be completely ungraspable to the reader. What I’ll say is that this is a film that can be interpreted by anyone as anything. Aronofsky provides us with so many angles to look at Mother! from that it’s very easy to get lost amidst all the suggested symbology, something I personally couldn’t be happier about. As I stated earlier, I’ve never had my eyes quite stuck to the movie-screen as I did with Mother!, especially its last act, which justifies the use of the exclamation mark in the title.
The most appropriate adjective Mother! could be described as would be wild. Its wild in essence, the film itself is wild, and the aura surrounding it is wild. Like a jungle, there’s so much wilderness to wonder that you become transfixed by the vast beauty before your eyes. It isn’t until you that initial spell of amazement leaves you that you’re able to enter the jungle and begin to probe it in the quest for answers. As concentrated as Mother! might seem, its scale is of biblical proportion and its vast amount of meaning extends like the Amazon jungle extends across South America.
Yet, in all its wildness, Aronofsky has presented us with a particular painting hidden amongst the fauna, one which we may never fully uncover but must still recognize as being there. Its an origin point that makes it all make sense and like God, we may never know this unknowable truth but we must understand its meaning and placement before us. I would never declare this to be a faith-based film, but I would say it is certainly a subject Aronofsky seems to tackle time and time again, even dating back to his directorial debut in Pi. The questions might not have been as fully realized back then ad explored to a lesser extent, but they demonstrate that these questions of faith and religion have always been floating around Aronofsky’s mind.
What is Mother!, that’s for you to decide, all I can tell you is that its a wild experience that will hypnotize you in the name of cinema.