Mother! (2017) – Darren Aronofsky

The cult of celebrity, the ‘ownership’ of fans, the price of love, and the need for peace, privacy, and solace from the madness that is the modern world.

Aronofsky’s divisive film, Mother!, comes home on DVD and blu-ray today.  Vaguely Lynchian there is the semblance of a ghost story at the heart of the film that follows Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) and her relationship with Him (Javier Bardem).

Him is a poet, who hasn’t written a word in far too long, while Mother, a much younger woman has spent all of her time restoring the house they live in, making it their own. She is completely in love with him, and gives everything to him.

But Him is distant from her… that is until a stranger, Man (Ed Harris), shows up on their door, and without consulting her at all Him invites Man to stay with them. He is affectionate to her when there are others around. From there things spiral out of control, terrifyingly so until the ending.

There is a connection between Mother and the house that is hinted at from the very beginning of the film, but it’s the revelation of how it ties in with the themes of the cult of celebrity, fame, and its effects on those who seek it, have it, and cannot escape from it.

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I can understand why this film didn’t appeal to everyone, the final act of the film is intense, jarring and surreal, yet it works in concert with the themes. It’s not going to be a film for everyone, and I can imagine why it didn’t work for certain viewers, but I was rather taken with it.

The cycle of fame, love, the need for them, and the effects of both is on full display here, as characters take what they want from Him, and Mother, because they feel they are entitled to it. The ownership perception of fans is brutally portrayed, and works so well within the confines of the film.

Mother! ends up being a jarring experience featuring a restrained performance by Lawrence, and a turn that almost edges on insanity from Bardem.  The rest of the cast is solid, as alongside Ed Harris is Michelle Pfeiffer, and the amazing Stephen McHattie.

The visual effects of the film combine amazingly well, and there are some really jarring moments created by them, and they are visceral, brutal, and stunning. It’s not an easy watch, but it is completely captivating.

But don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself! Mother! is available on DVD and blu-ray from Paramount Pictures.

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