Mother!. Film Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * *

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brian Gleeson, Domhnall Gleeson, Stephen McHattie, Kristen Wiig.

It really isn’t saying a lot about a film when you start thinking to yourself as you reflect and muse upon what you have seen, that you ponder that at least it wasn’t as bad as Noah. The story of creation told in a very modern way, in an approach that actually makes more sense for those who might have found something far better to attend than religious studies on a Monday morning, or even those to whom the imagination runs a lot deeper than what we are persuaded to do when considering passages from the Bible.

Mother! is a lot better than Noah, Director Darren Aronofsky’s other not so memorable hit, that much is certain, it certainly has moments where the thought process is quite sublime, where the fragile hold on reality within the characters mindset is given license to see the world as it is now, not one fashioned in the image of a garden of tranquillity and hope, but instead, one made from the clay of humanity’s insatiable appetite for destruction.

The means of telling the story are remarkable and in Javier Bardem as the poet figure, the man to whom all it seems is adored, his performance is not unexceptional and when the chaos in the house ensues, the destruction of his and Jennifer Lawrence’s allegory and representation of perfect life, his is the acting that the viewer more than likely turns too; the quiet introspection, the damning and burning of all that has gone before. It takes great peace of mind to capture something so simple as regret and still portray it with a sense of purpose.

With Michelle Pfeiffer giving a great performance as the mythical representation of Eve, all clad in middle age alcoholism, prying prattling questions, the ability to bring someone down with the raised eyebrow and the scornful look of a woman worn down by time and especially in the face of what she perceives to be the younger and more beautiful around her; it could be considered Ms. Pfeiffer’s most ingenious role for many years.

The trouble with using an allegory is that quite often you have to hammer the point home to make sure the cinema goer gets your meaning, the spin on an old story is nothing new but it does require a skilled approach to not be seen as ramming belief down the throat of those who just want a good story to grapple with.

Better than Noah, it perhaps does not give much away, but in the scheme of things it is worthy of time.

Ian D. Hall