I have never taken hallucinogenic mushrooms. That is both a confession and an alibi should my parents ever find a clear plastic bag under my bed.
But why would you spend time Googling local drug dealers (because I assume that’s how you get in contact with them), meeting in a dodgy underground carpark and risk being arrested, only to have a dodgy trip, when you could get Darren Aronofsky’s mother! on DVD or Blu-ray instead?
I said “What the hell am I watching?” more during mother! than when 2 Girls 1 Cup was Bluetooth’d around everyone’s phones during mid-2007.
Even from the Blu-ray’s case, you know this is going to be one hell of a pretentious film. The title, mother!, winds me up. It’s in a title, therefore it’s a proper noun. It should start with a capital letter. Are you reading this, Darren Aronofsky? And while we’re on the topic of writing and grammar, get a surname that’s easier to spell, please. The flashiness doesn’t end there, though…
Following the opening shot of a woman burning to death, but seemingly pretty chill about it, mother! follows Jennifer Lawrence’s character, after she seeks to rebuild her partner’s (Javier Bardem) house. Now, if you like seeing an Academy Award winner slowly walk around a house, plaster walls and complain that a sink has been properly fitted to a wall once every six seconds, then mother! is your jam.
With Javier’s character, a famous poet, struggling with writer’s block, their relationship is really tested when Ed Harris’ super-fan of the poet (who poses as a doctor) invites himself to stay round their house, bringing his wife, Michelle Pfeiffer, too. From inviting themselves into rooms they’re forbidden from entering, to pushing the boundaries of conversation, they disrupt Lawrence and Bardem’s restful lifestyle. This would have been a perfectly good film for me – to extend this story and see how the couple would survive and endure with trying to evict this duo. Instead, shit gets weird.
Let’s take a deep breath – Ed Harris is very sick, and Javier Bardem soothes him by covering up his unknown fatal wound on his ribcage, Harris and Pfeiffer’s children turn up at the house, randomly, and after one of them kills the other, we never see either of them again, and Jennifer Lawrence then finds spots of the murdered son’s blood and clears it, only for it to keep reappearing on the floor, creating a bloody trail to a section of the house she’s never seen before. Oh, and J-Law also finds a beating heart in the loo, which she prods with a plunger, and it squeals and flushes itself down the bog. But that happens in all good, normal films, right? Right?!
mother! could have been a lot better (and a lot less like I took a pneumatic drill to the cranium) had it not have been for the final act. During a dinner, after Ed and Michelle had left, Javier opens the front door to see tens of adoring fans, praising his poetry. At this point, they start to flood in, one-by-one, to steal from Jennifer’s house. We’re then introduced to Kristen Wiig, as Javier’s manager, (which is still a better role than the one she had in the Ghostbusters remake.) Okay, it’s weird, but it’s not weirder than a heart in the loo, is it?
Hold my beer.
The house is then swarmed by fans of Javier; some are demolishing the house, meanwhile some are decorating it. Guys, I hate to teach you how to suck eggs, but this just seems counterproductive. Kristen Wiig turns out to be a leader of a terrorism squad, who tries to murder Jennifer Lawrence, before being killed herself. Fans are mauling Javier for his autograph. There’s an EDM rave going on downstairs. WHAT THE SHIT IS GOING ON?! This sounds like my NYE 2015, but with less of me crying because no-one wanted to cop off with me.
Finally, a pregnant J-Law has her baby. Good. The end. Please. Nope. The intruders carry the newly born baby over their heads, break its back, and eat it, before beating the hell out of Jennifer. She then sets fire to the whole house, leaving her as a – still-living – pile of ash, before Javier takes her heart, places it on the side, and the whole movie starts again with a new actress in J-Law’s role. Shit. Hand me those mushrooms now. I need them.
I loved Darren’s Black Swan – it was a psychological thriller, depicting the stress of a young ballerina. I got that. What I don’t want to do after a movie is have to Google what the hell actually went on, and then neck a whole bottle of vodka. Not necessarily in that order.
The only reason I’m giving this movie a second star is because after some sigh-fuelled research, I saw a theory that the entirety of mother! was a allegory for the bible. Javier was God and Jennifer was Mother Nature. Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer were Adam and Eve, who were exiled from the house after entering the poet’s study, symbolising Eden in Heaven. The fighting brothers were Cain and Abel, and the tonnes of fans illustrated the destruction of earth. I suppose it’s clever. But then again, put enough fancy moments in it, and it’s bound to seem clever.
Speaking of seeming clever, pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. Do I seem clever yet?
Who am I kidding? Of course I’m not clever. I sat through the entirety of the pretentious as fuck mother!