A veteran tracker with the Fish and Wildlife Service helps to investigate the murder of a young Native American woman, and uses the case as a means of seeking redemption for an earlier act of irresponsibility which ended in tragedy.
An other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.
The music in the first half of the end credits is followed by a long period with only quiet ambient noise. The near-silence is broken when Javier Bardem's character's calligraphy is inscribed in white ink next to (and sometimes over) the remaining credits. See more »
"Mother!" follows a couple (Lawrence and Bardem) who live in solitude in an expansive farmhouse that the wife has painstakingly restored from a fire. One evening, they are visited by a doctor (Ed Harris), whose wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) follows. The dynamics of the home are turned upside down, and chaos ensues.
I won't attempt to give a full plot summary here, as it's truly a waste of time. If the cryptic promotional materials and slim premise are enough to intrigue (as they did myself), then give the film a go. The first half of "Mother!" is just shy of brilliance, with bizarre character interactions, wry humor, and phenomenal performances from all involved. At times, the dynamics between Lawrence, Bardem, Harris, and Pfeiffer give one the sense that they're watching a zany stage play, and the actors (especially Pfeiffer and Harris) clearly have a ball with this. As the film progresses into its second half, it shifts and expands in ways that are unabashedly over-the-top, and Aronofsky quite literally pulls the rug out from under his audience.
The film is stuffed with metaphors that are clearly Biblical, but there are numerous bents and other influences spilling in, most notably "Rosemary's Baby," which seems to be a prominent influence Aronofsky wears on his sleeve here; that said, "Mother!" is a very different film from it. The second act is chaotic and grotesque, and it's effective up to a point, but it brazenly crosses the line that the first act so cleverly toed; and perhaps that's the aim here, but it's not as enthralling as what comes before it.
Overall, I found "Mother!" at times riveting and consistently well-acted. It moves from being delightfully off-kilter and sinister to fiery pandemonium, the latter of which doesn't have the same consistent pull as the former. It is no less a thoroughly weird and engrossing epic that demands attention, but I personally found the second act to run itself thin. 7/10.
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