THERE MUST BE a perfectly sound, logical explanation for why actors of such talent as Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Badem, not to mention Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris would want to lend their talents and good names to such unspeakable bad, mind foggingly nonsensical gibberish as “Mother!”

And note the exclamation mark please. In the blood red graphics that announce the film, the exclamation becomes a dagger. Oh, murderous punctuation, what monsters hast thou wrought!

They (who remain -creatively – unnamed) are a newly married couple. But not such a happily married one. She’s devoted to him; so much so that she is painstakingly reconstructing his old -haunted- family chateau after a dreadful fire (reconnecting with his past etc); and she sits in trembling awe at his feet (he’s a celebrated poet) as he ponders the blank page in front of him. He loves that she loves him so. For she is no mere wife. She is his muse! a paragon of beauty and lithe eroticism!

But here’s the rub: they’re not shagging! His writer’s block is a sexual one too. It will take the trauma of unannounced strangers (Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris) who appear from nowhere one night, dragging their troubles, their haughty indifference to her and her home, their open carnality and their destructive physical violence, to unleash the ravenous bull in him…ravenous enough to rape her (which she loves of course).

And there’s nothing like a heated rape to open up those creative juices, not to mention impregnate an adoring wife. For creativity can never be constrained. Its fruit, like her child belongs to all. There is a mystical symbiosis between the artist, his art and its devotees.

We know this because thousands of fans, bearing candles, rock-concert style, swarm into his home, make out in various rooms, hold sacred vigils, dance to thumping music, even steal and sacrifice her newborn (Please don’t see this movie if you’re pregnant. OK, please don’t see it anyway), whose flesh they of course eat.

She should of course have known something like this would happen. Certainly if I were in her position, and had seen a bulb fill with blood, witnessed bleeding walls, doors that close of their own accord, hear ghostly thumps in the night, see a beating heart being flushed down the loo, and tried to cover up a bloody suppurating wound in the floorboards, I’d definitely have suspected that something was amiss.

But that’s just me.

As for Ms Lawrence, even “Passengers” does not demand the atonement of “Mother!”. With or without its exclamation!


MOTHER! Director/writer: Darren Aronofsky (“Noah”, “Black Swan”). With: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Badem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brian Gleeson. Cinematographer: Matthew Libatique (“Cowboys and Aliens”) Production Designer: Philip Messina (“Free State of Jones” “The Hunger Games”)



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