FILM REVIEW | Mother!

You will be hard-pressed to find anyone who enjoys Mother!, the new Jennifer Lawrence movie.

You might find a few people who can appreciate it, maybe one or two who praise its intellect and allegorical significance, but it would be hard to find anyone who actually had a good time watching the film.

It is a hard, hard watch.

You can spend the whole movie – and a significant amount of time after it – trying desperately to figure out what’s going on, what it’s trying to say, why anyone would voluntarily choose to be involved with it and still come up with nothing.

The film, at best guess, is a giant metaphor for motherhood. Or perhaps a metaphor for the nature of celebrity. Or is it a metaphor for love? Maybe it’s a metaphor for life itself.

Whatever it represents, Mother! is a frustrating, confusing, confronting way to spend two hours.

It kicks off with Javier Bardem (Skyfall) placing a schmick-looking diamond-like stone on a few metal prongs inside a clearly derelict house.

Lo and behold, the house suddenly becomes beautiful again and Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) wakes up in bed searching for Bardem, her husband.

Inexplicably weird: Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem star in Darren Aronofsky's Mother!, in cinemas now, rated MA15+. Picture: Paramount

Inexplicably weird: Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem star in Darren Aronofsky's Mother!, in cinemas now, rated MA15+. Picture: Paramount

Things almost seem normal for a bit until Ed Harris (Westworld) shows up on their doorstep – not something that can happen by chance given the pair live in the middle of nowhere.

Things spiral further out of control when Michelle Pfeiffer (Stardust) and both Brian (Logan Lucky) and Domhnall (Brooklyn) Gleeson arrive and look set to stay.

This portion of the film is bearable. It’s worst-nightmare kind of stuff, people making themselves comfortable in your home, refusing to leave – it’s a degradation of social norms and acceptable, polite behaviour.

Director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream) is known for his boundary-pushing films.

He seems particularly interested in the descent into madness or self-destruction and Mother! clearly follows this pattern.

The last half hour is so confronting it is genuinely difficult to stomach for even the most hardened of movie-goers. It will make you claustrophobic and disgusted. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

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