Jenifer Lawrence plays the loving wife to Javier Bardem’s older poet who’s suffering from writer’s block. While Lawrence works hard at turning their very remote home into an idyllic setting, or a “paradise” if you will, a mysterious stranger (Ed Harris) turns up at their door, followed closely by his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer), both of whom Bardem’s seemingly-oblivious character welcomes with open arms – despite his wife’s understandable protests. But as more guests inexplicably begin to swarm Lawrence’s home, the film descends into brutal and unforgiving chaos that is as arresting as it is repellent.
Darren Aronofsky’s mother! is a psychological horror of sorts which, on first glance, explores many themes from intrusion to marital problems through a rather nightmarish filter, but by the third act – into which you’re dragged throat-first – the film’s once-subtle allegories are exchanged for a far more striking and literal set-up, leaving very little for the imagination, save for some horrifying images that will gore you completely. And while this relentlessly-vicious, multisensory assault is certainly unforgettable, the trouble is it’s going to be remembered for every other reason besides what it set out to do.
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