Mother is categorized as a psychological thriller/horror style film in the massive hype ad campaigns before it’s release. Major film critics praise the film with it’s directors art style and strange story telling methods. Is Mother is good as they say? Or is it another film that critics get wrong. We checked it out last night and will now provide a REALISTIC average person review of the film. Spoilers will be here!
First, let’s get some real statistics out of the way. Of course all those “professional movie critics” out there praise the film. However, the real audience, the average person(s) like you and me have a different opinion. The film suffered heavily at the box office, only bringing in an estimated $7.5mil gross despite the heavy marketing campaign making it the lowest wide-release opening of star Jennifer Lawrence’s career. This now puts Mother into the pantheon of movies graced with an “F” score from exiting audience members.
Right now, Mother has a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is quite interesting as the general audience gave it an F on Cinescore at select theaters.
Spoiler time folks:
The film starts out with the image of Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) burning in a fire. The house, which is current burnt, then starts to materialize into a beautiful meadow home. Pretty interesting beginning to a film. When I first saw this, it was clear this was a key point most likely towards the end of the film.
The two main characters, only referred to as Mother and her husband “Him” (Javier Bardem), live in a secluded victorian style home in the meadow. It’s a beautiful home, a classic fixer upper that anyone would love to own. Mother, who is the homemaker and Him, who is a famous poet with an extreme case of writer’s block. He is unable to find any inspiration to produce his latest writings. Mother tends to him in an attempt to give him the proper inspiration, however, her attempts fail time and time again until later in the film. In Him’s office, he cherishes a crystal on his bookcase that appears to be alive in some sense. When you gaze at the crystal, it has a fiery vein like movement inside it, making one believe this is some sort of magical stone that could be creating the strange imagery we see in the film.
By this time, the introduction to the characters has been quite lackluster and there doesn’t seem to be a real point in even developing any admiration for either of them. Then comes “Man & Woman” played by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer. These two come along uninvited as they had “no place to go” according to Mother’s husband, “Him”. It seems though that Man and Woman are drawn the crystal in Him’s office, where the ultimately destroy it by dropping it on the ground. By this time, Him is pretty pissed off and boards up his office door to prevent anyone from entering the room. Later, more and more people show up to the home, basically making themselves comfortable as if they belong there. This part of the film is where things looked like they would be a bit more interesting. Him, who loves the attention from the crowd does not take any initiative to make these people leave despite Mother’s constant requests.
More and more chaos ensues during the film with more people showing up and destroying the house, all because they are big fans of Him and his writing. The people are portrayed as just normal fans. This is the part where things just got stupid.
Throughout the film, Mother appears to be having some sort of medical issue going on to where she takes an unidentified substance, following up by her placing her hands on the walls of the home to see what appears to be a heart beating, that slowly becomes ash. I can see this is some sort of metaphor the director (Darren Aronofsky) was going for, but ok…
The film continues with more of the same in it’s slow pace. By this time, several members of the audience had left the theater. At this point of the film, even in the midst of all the chaos, Him still wants the people there. He loves the attention and any sane person would clearly see, Him is a lunatic. Mother, who is freaked out by all this even tells him, he’s insane. So at least that part was pretty good.
I won’t spoil the ending, but all in all, this film is one big metaphorical mess. When you have to google and search for what the movie could possibly mean, that just means the story itself was not put together in a way that is satisfying. People don’t want to search for the meaning of a movie, at least I don’t.
As far as the art style, it was very well done. The cinematographer Matthew Libatique did a hell of a job. The mood, lighting, camera movements and angles were spot on. He portrayed the feeling of claustrophobia with the constant closeups which I felt was great in order to make the viewer feel a little uneasy. The music, when there was some, was also fitting for the film.
So the basic story is this; Husband and wife, husband is egotistical and feeds off other peoples love of him. He requires more then what anyone can give him, ultimately ruining everything. Near the end, the film I believe portrays Him as some supernatural being. It also made the home look alive. Oh, and what was in the secret room Mother found? They completely left that out of the equation. Mother was ok, nothing to get crazy about as there were some holes in the story that were just not filled.
Part of the marketing campaign said “You will never forget where you were the first time you saw mother!” You got that right, I was sitting in the theater, looking at the time waiting for the movie to be over with!