Oh Mother, What is Your Name?

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Fadya Binyameen

Contributing Writer

Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” follows the life of young, married and pregnant Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) and her husband, Him (Javier Bardem), who is a whole generation older than her. It’s a psychological drama that is neither psychological, nor dramatic.

 

The movie begins with an unnamed stranger (Ed Harris) who visits the couple after confusing their house for a bed and breakfast. The stranger is later joined by his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) and his two sons (Domhnall Gleeson) and (Brian Gleeson). The actors portrayed the characters as people who have no respect for privacy whatsoever. After their arrival, Him continuously invites people to stay at his house without checking with Mother first, insisting for everyone that they are able to share anything of his, which annoys Grace.

The movie gradually begins unfolding in a random manner full of abrupt transitions, leading to an end that is extremely unsatisfying to the viewer. For starters, Mother is shown to have dizzy spells and hear buzzing noises, for which she drinks a yellow substance which makes her feel instantly better. Aronofsky never establishes whether she had a medical condition or had those episodes due to the visions she was having. The movie didn’t establish what exactly the yellow substance was either. It also neglected to explain the doctor and his family’s disappearance, why there were so many people in and out of the house all the time and why everything was happening so quickly.

 

Towards the end of the movie, a huge crowd surrounds Him, wanting him to sign copies of his newest book. The scene quickly changes to a party that soon goes out of control and leads to police shooting people and bombs being set off in the house. What started out as an innocent book signing quickly transitioned into a war zone with people attacking and killing each other.

 

Throughout the movie, I found myself thinking about how difficult it was to picture the same woman who played an independent, strong and brave Katniss Everdeen playing a housewife who is too scared to stay at home alone. She is very passive and does not speak about what is bothering her freely with her husband. However, towards the end of the movie, she finally finds her voice and is able to become stronger and stand-up for herself to protect herself and her newborn.

 

Without having done a little research of my own to find out the intention of the movie, I never would have figured out that it was an allegorical recreation of events in the bible. Overall, the movie seemed like it was trying too hard to be artistic, but it failed miserably in doing so.

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