“You never loved me. You just loved how much I loved you”
Darren Aronofsky latest piece marks a fine recovery for the director who is more of an expert for psychological thrillers and less for the big-budgeted religious blockbusters *cough* Noah *cough*. Everything that I loved in terms of the intensity and dark nature of Black Swan thankfully returns in mother! but in a way that entirely distinguishes the two films. mother! is anything but the same as Black Swan and in some ways more terrifying.
From a narrative standpoint, I enjoyed the unraveling of both the mystery elements but also the characters themselves. The film has a minimal plot, focusing mainly on the relationship between two newlyweds, but in the context of the tension that arises, the story greatly deepens. The more time that passed, I was beginning to feel more uncomfortable with the dynamics of their relationship and the surrounding events that were occurring. I had no idea of where it would lead to and when the third act came around, the dramatic intensity peaked at incredible heights. I loved that Darren Aronofsky could essentially one up himself on his efforts to produce such a satisfying climax because the tension and psychological drama that was portrayed in the final twenty minutes was just fantastic.
This was complemented by the visual elements and camera trickery that worked so well to bring his dark vision to life. I particularly loved the nightmarish aspects of the story and I believe this could be one of the best translations to what being in a horrible dream would look like as a film (even more so than the fabled A Nightmare On Elm Street series).
The artisanship used to utilize several introductions of new chaotic disturbances (specifically in the third act), would have taken a large amount of time to plan and also to set up, which made it so thoroughly engaging. The dark world that Darren Aronofsky created was truly being brought to life and the efforts to do so from a technical perspective was astonishing. From organizing the movement of an exorbitant number of extras to exact positioning, and the framing of tracking shots on characters, this film is worth seeing just for how it finishes alone.
From an acting perspective, I thought Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem were felicitous casting choices for the story. Jennifer Lawrence’s performance suited the role of playing the beautifully young and warm-hearted wife who also needed to retain a flair of innocence and infatuation for her husband. The husband was also well played by Javier Bardem, as he suited that husky older man role that is seen as a figure of wisdom and talent in the eyes of his young lover. Both supported each other well but were, more importantly, trusting in the crazy vision Darren Aronofsky had installed for their characters. It’s becoming almost indisputable that he knows how to get the very best, dark emotions from his actors when put into a psychologically thrilling context.
The final word I want to add is to try and not to do any research about the film, and instead simply watch it if you’re interested in any sort of psychological dramas. This is one of the best as of late and is a fine example of independent cinema. If you’ve never heard of the director Darren Aronofsky before, I sincerely suggest you check out his other works. He was responsible for one of my favourite films Requiem of a Dream but is also well known for Black Swan as I mentioned in the introduction but also The Wrestler. mother! is nothing like those films, aside from the intensity it produces but it is nevertheless a movie that needs to be watched. See it.