Darren Aronofsky really confused the hell out me when it comes to understanding Mother!
Lawrence and Bardem deliver adequate performances, but the plot and story are one big heap of confusion.
Where Black Swan was triumphant is providing compelling visuals, an intriguing storyline and effortlessly bridged the metaphorical with the realistic,
Mother! never adequately gives the viewer an indication as to if it is real or if this is merely a metaphor. As I was watching the film, at times it felt as if I was watching a mediocre American Horror Story episode from one of the bad seasons. Aronofsky really takes you for a loop and characters act and react in strange ways.
The fact that none of the characters have names lets me lean more and more towards the fact that Mother! is actually a metaphor for an artist and the creative process. The character Mother (Lawrence) then represents the initial inspiration with the inspiration then giving birth to the idea. The idea then spawns a product that the artist, in this case Him (Bardem), shares with the world. The artwork is then interpreted in different ways.
This consumption then breaks down the initial inspiration and while the creator gets fame, the initial creative intention is lost. This, in a nutshell, is what I think Aronofsky is trying to convey. However, because there is no framing device to give an indication of said metaphor, I was left scratching my head for most of the film.
The cinematography also didn’t really work either. The first two acts find cinematographer Matthew Libatique relying mostly on close-ups of Lawrence and, after a while, it felt really turbulent and I felt dizzy.
The chemistry between Lawrence and Bardem is also minuscule and I’ve also reached my saturation point when it comes to Lawrence’s lacklustre performances of late.
Mother! is Aronofsky on steroids and while the film is directed well, the lack of a framing device as an indication of whether this is real, supernatural or metaphorical left me confused.