This afternoon myself and a friend took a trip to the pictures. My first visit in an age, to see Mother! It’s almost certain that this will be it’s last week of availability on the big screen in the UK, showings are scarce, so if you want to go and see it, do it very soon. It’s also the reason for this rushed review. So please excuse it’s erm, rushed mess.
Darren Aronofsky is the writer and director of this film, two of his past efforts are easily in my top 20 films of all time. Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan. Pi, is still on the to watch list. So I was keen to see this on the big screen, also Jennifer Lawrence stars. For the most part it’s had good reviews too. The critics seem to like it. While audience figures on iMDB and Rotten Tomatoes seem to differ, with iMDB giving it a solid 7.0 and Rotten Tomatoes having it at 46%
So where was I going to swing?
Obviously there’s going to be some spoilers below, so if you haven’t seen it or are waiting for the Bluray release, give the rest of this post a miss, and give the trailer a blast.
The film, I will admit. Based upon the above trailer. Was not what I was expecting. Sometimes this can be a great thing, most of the time it is where I am concerned, but on this occasion it wasn’t. Had I not been with someone, I was close to walking out, and I’ve never in my life yet walked out on a film. One couple did eventually walk out, but that was after the point where I was going too, and was probably for another reason. More on that later.
The start of the film, shows a house transforming from being burnt to the ground, to being habitable. In fact the opening sequence makes it quite clear there’s going to be a twist, and the twist, if you’ve got half a brain cell can be worked out within 30 minutes of the film. Or at least it felt like that, it may have been a little longer. How we got there however, was a whole new ball game.
The couple living in the house, one is a writer, and the other his loving wife is the person who has somehow rebuilt the house from the ground up. I should point out, and I’ve double checked, at no point in the film does anyone’s name get mentioned, so hopefully you’ll follow me with the descriptions!
A lone old male doctor is seemingly lost, the author invites him in, and offers him a bed for the night. The wife isn’t happy about this, especially after how he eyes up a rather large diamond piece. The following morning his wife arrives, and the author husband invites them both to stay, without even consulting his wife. She’s obviously not happy about this. The day goes from bad to worse, as the doctor’s wife gets drunk, continues to annoy the authors wife, while her husband and the doctor go out for a brisk walk.
The drunk woman attempts to get into the authors room where the diamond is, she’s told no one is allowed to enter. Upon the males returning, it becomes clear the doctor is not a doctor but a fan, who is dying, and just wanted to spend time with his favourite author. While having this discussion, they get into the authors room, and break the significant piece of diamond, which we also saw at the very start of the film. As the author loses his patience, makes his hands bleed in the remains of the diamond (It’s at this point you should be able to work out part of the twist) and his wife tells the couple they must leave. Not before they have a quick fuck in the spare room.
Next thing we know the super fans sons arrive at the house, start beating the shit out of each other and then one murders the other. What a crappy day this is turning into.
Off they go to the hospital, leaving the wife, with the a potential murderer on the scene. Eventually her husband returns, explains the son died, and they go to bed. Next thing we know, the whole family and friends arrive, with permission of the author as they had nowhere to go, and again the house gets made a mess to the point where the wife has to scream to get everyone to leave.
At this point in the film, I’m thinking this is pretty boring. I’m feeling for the wife, because her house is getting destroyed, and the author husband doesn’t seem to give a shit about her. Oh I should point out at this point shes discovered some weird hidden wall behind the boiler, where all the blood from the murdered son seemed to run too, Also throughout the film, we keep seeing a heart, which is slowly turning black, whenever she touches the house. Obviously this is linked and will be revealed later.
Once everyone has been kicked out, they fuck, and the next day she seems to know she’s pregnant. Either way it’s true, and this enables the author to get his writing skills back. Within 9 months, he manages to write a book, get it published, and released. Upon release day, a mob descent onto the house in order to get pictures and photos with the author. Being a knob he invites them into the house. It’s not long before people are robbing things from the house and destroying things.
This is where the film goes bizarre, and we go into a very long scene of the house being turned into a religious temple and a war zone, armed police arrive, the army arrive, a pen seems to get constructed where women are tortured and turned into prisoners of war, explosions, and basically all sorts of crazy shit, as she attempts to get out the house and fails. This is where I almost walked out, because I’m not enjoying the film anyway, and this is getting really drawn out. Not helped by the fact she’s being pushed over and trodden on at one point, made worse because of her pregnancy, and for personal reasons of why I find crushes and stampedes a little traumatising.
I can take David Lynch style craziness, but this was getting a bit testing, even for me.
However we sat it through, and eventually her husband rescues her and takes her to a safe room upstairs, where she gives birth. She protects the baby for as long as she can stay awake, but upon falling asleep, the husband takes the baby, and goes to show it to the mob/worshippers/whatever they are now outside, the baby get’s passed around, crowd surfing style and is eventually killed. It’s at this point where one couple could take no more and left the cinema. I checked my friend was ok to carry on sitting through the rest of the film, and we carried on. The baby gets multilated, the new mother loses it, and eventually, yep, you guessed it. Sets fire to the house. Its at that point we also see her heart finally turn fully black.
The couple seemingly survive the explosion, the man without a scratch on him, while the woman is more burnt than the fishfingers I forgot I left on the grill the other day. It’s at this point he reaches inside her, grabs her heart, crushes it, and lone behold, the diamond returns, and the house rises from the ashes, and as the camera returns to the bedroom, another girl wakes up in place of Jennifer Lawrence.
The film justifies it’s 18 certficate, which these days is hard to get. Once things get really bat shit crazy there’s some extreme violence, and some really disturbing scenes. However the director/writer I think has tried too hard here to shock. The story isn’t that great, in my opinion, the twist can be worked out pretty early on because they give too much away with the opening scene. I’m normally all for bat shit crazy, I mean, just ask me about how much I loved Twin Peaks: The Return. However this was just not enjoyable. For me at least. The first half is ok, and you feel for the wife as all these people take over her house, but come the 2nd half, it’s a just a big bloody violent mess with no real direction.
Final score: 4/10