OPINION: Review of “Mother!”

Remi Mays

Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” is far from a traditional horror movie. It’s a gray area between psychological puzzle and a social statement with the use of a wonderful cast.

Aronofsky has created an origin story. He has taken parts of Genesis from the Bible and combined those parts with more modern elements such as women’s rights and environmentalism.

“Mother!” compares Jennifer Lawrence’s character to Mother Earth, who throughout the whole movie is trying to repair an isolated house that represents Earth. Javier Bardem’s character, known only as “Him,” is a poet and a creator of life. Essentially, it’s a representation to God.

Even though there is no civilization surrounding the house, Ed Harris’s character, representing the biblical character Adam, comes to the door requesting to meet “Him” because he loves his work. Then a woman and her children, representing Eve, Cain and Abel from the Bible, follow the man. Eventually, a multitude of people who are fans of “Him’s” work come to gather around the house in hopes of meeting “Him.” Mother becomes angry at them as they flood the house and kicks everyone out.

As the film progresses, Mother gives birth to a son. This is when fans of “Him” begin to reappear. After Mother goes to rest, “Him” shows their son to the fans and they kill him and feed on his flesh. Devastated, mother sets everything and everyone on fire. Mother and “Him” are the only two survivors.

In the end, Mother still confesses her love for “Him” and he returns the favor by ripping her heart out to create a new mother.

Not one character in the entire movie has a direct name. In addition, only one character’s name is capitalized: “Him.” He belittles every cautious thing Mother says because of his ego. “Him” thrives on ego and is motivated by worship of his art that blinds him from listening to the needs of Mother.

However, Mother is subtly more powerful than “Him” as she gets to decide who lives and who dies in the end. But even when she forgives and asks “Him” to change for a better future, he moves on to another mother.

“Mother!” is a demonstration that even the most powerful woman will never be enough because she lives in a world built for a man. This film provides a reflection, as well, on the human condition. It shows how we as fans treat the Earth in the name of God without a second thought about the consequences of our actions.