One ‘mother!’ of a film

Charlotte Gardner

[media-credit name=”Photo courtesy of Jennifer Lawrence Films” align=”alignright” width=”210″][/media-credit]The most talked about and most controversial film to debut this year, one that has generated the most potent reviews ranging from amazing to labeling it “torture porn,” “mother!” actually has meaning- but no one will go and see it.

Crippling reviews and sensitive topics the film deals with have dissuaded views from mainstream audiences. A film this shocking isn’t fit for the everyday movie-goer, but it needs to be seen for what it reveals about human complexities.

For a brief synopsis, the movie surrounds two characters, Him and Mother, played by Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence, as they live a secluded life in their prairie home. Him is a famous poet suffering from incessant writer’s block and Mother works endlessly to repair the once charred home to make it a paradise for her and her husband. When a stranger suddenly appears on their doorstep, Him invites the man inside and the entire dynamic of the home changes and leads the pair into chaos.

The film is directed by Darren Aronofsky, director of “Black Swan,” who was so inspired to create “mother!” that he crafted the screenplay within a matter of days and filmed a demo-version of the film to make sure it was able to convey his message correctly without ending up a mess.

With a message as important as the one Aronofsky was dealing with, the extra precautions he took were necessary and proved to aid the film immensely because the concept was delivered flawlessly.

Aronofsky dared to tackle the construct of religion, social justice issues stem from religion, environmental neglect and the consequences of fame all in one film. The characters of Him and Mother represent God and Mother Nature and throughout the film, Aronofsky builds the relationship between religion and the earth in a disturbing and helpless way.

By personifying the earth into Lawrence’s innocent and caring character, Aronofsky makes it simple for the audience to connect and witness the harm we enact on our planet via Lawrence being beaten, mistreated and reaped until she has nothing left to give. After days of torture Mother ends up burning down the house and herself. The human representation of the destruction of our planet is almost unbearable at times along with the violence and gore of other events depicted in the film’s climax.

As the metaphor of religion plays out, Aronofsky focuses on human behavior that was inspired with the creation of religion. Starting with the arrival of the man in the beginning who then brings his wife, the symbolism of Adam and Eve, Him invites sin into his home despite Mother’s pleas of disagreement. From there, the house becomes a gathering places for hoards of strangers who came looking for Him after his famous new writing piece, the Bible, has been published. As more people congregate and the timeline of religion continues, tensions build between the uninvited guests and the dynamics of superiority and sin wreak havoc. Bombings, shootings, mass illness, partying, sex trafficking, executions and gang violence are depicted, forming after the distribution of the Bible.

The intense violence and parallels of what happened in the film and its relation to reality is the most frightening aspect about this thriller. The truth in the screenplay is damning and serves as a massive wake-up call to all who see it. The film doesn’t denounce religion or persuade its audience to completely resent their ideology. Rather, it critiques human action and behavior after the birth of religion and it has the capability to be one of the most moving pieces of art ever made.

So don’t let what critics or your friends say discouraged from seeing this film because it is an integral cinematic movement that can change the world.