This review contains spoilers.
There’s a difference between being weird for reason and being weird just to be weird. How many filmmakers can you name that try and present their ideas in an odd, but brilliant way? Darren Aronofsky is one such filmmaker. Though I’ve only seen one of his films, that being the 2010 film Black Swan, I feel I can at least say there was some weird stuff going on in that film, but it was a great film with great performances and edge of your seat entertainment. The same cannot be said for the 2017 Mother!. Though the cast is solid starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer, the film falls into that category of being weird just to be weird.
The trailers for the film really didn’t give much away on what this film was. Before I saw it I got the feeling it was about an overbearing mother-in-law (Pfeiffer) who didn’t like her daughter-in-law and was making her life hell. I was very, very wrong. The film follows Jennifer Lawrence’s character, I can’t remember if they ever give her a name in the film or not, if so I can’t remember what it is and IMDb lists her character as “Mother”. Her and Javier Bardem (listed on IMDb as “Him”) are married living in a very secluded home in the middle of nowhere; Bardem is a writer and Lawrence is fixing up the house. One night a man (Ed Harris) shows at the house looking for help, Bardem lets him and offers him a place to stay. Eventually it is revealed that Harris is an obsessed fan of Bardem’s. Lawrence isn’t happy and the next day the man’s wife (Pfeiffer) shows up and, again, Bardem offers them a place to stay. Lawrence’s character doesn’t understand why Bardem is so okay with letting these strangers stay with them but she continues to go along with it.
That’s pretty much the film, more and more people continue to show up at their house and Lawrence’s character gets more and more upset with this. At one point the couple’s (Harris and Pfeiffer) two sons show up and one of them kills the other one. Eventually, for some reason, Lawrence’s character becomes pregnant and not much happens between the beginning of her pregnancy and the very end (i.e. no one shows up at the house), during this time Bardem has finally broken his writer’s block and is writing. Once this is done the craziest most batshit crazy part of the movie begins. He let’s Lawrence read what he has written and all of sudden tons of people begin showing up at the house, it starts small but then begins to balloon like crazy. Hundreds of people begin invading the house and tearing the house apart. This goes on for what felt an eternity, the entire time we are following Lawrence in a very uncomfortably tight close up. Every time she finds Bardem he is trying to protect her from these crazed people, but all of her pleas for this to stop go unheard. Eventually Bardem is able to get her to a room and block off all the crazy people and Lawrence gives birth to their son.
You might be asking yourself at this point what exactly is going, I sure as hell was. Apparently, from what I’ve read, the movie is a religious allegory with Lawrence as “Mother Nature”, Bardem is “God”, Harris and Pfeiffer are “Adam & Eve” and their two sons are “Cain and Abel”. The film ends with Lawrence torching the house and Bardem restarting time to the beginning of the film. This is overly too long, it was only two hours but it felt like four. The entire time I’m asking myself “what the hell is going on?” and when I finally realized it I just didn’t care anymore. I think that films that make you question what’s happening are great, they keep your interest, but when you finally reveal what’s going on it has to be something great otherwise the entire thing falls apart. Mother! fails to succeed on having a great reveal. Personally, this is currently the worst film I’ve seen this year, I wanted to walk out of the movie which I’ve never done, but I forced myself to stay till the end. I thought the reveal was stupid and the movie itself is one of the slowest moving movies I’ve ever seen. The entire cast gave a stellar performance throughout but the film failed at being entertaining whatsoever, I was avoid this movie at all costs, you will be disappointed.