A film that teaches audiences about the ‘mother of us all’


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Scene from the movie “Mother”.

Spoilers ahead…. Love it or hate it, Darren Aronofsky’s latest movie, “mother!” has people talking. With religious symbolism and a message about humanity, audiences were filled with confusion, repulsion, and self-reflection throughout this 121-minute film.  “mother!” centers around a couple, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, who live in an isolated house that had been previously burned down. The opening scene depicts a woman and a household engulfed in flames followed by a man, Bardem, placing a crystal on a pedestal that reverts the aftermath. A woman, Lawrence, then arises from ashes on a bed, awakening from her sleep.

One of the pivotal details in “mother!” is that none of the characters are given a name. It is not until the credits that characters are referred to as “mother,” “Him,” “man,” “woman,” etc. For the entirety of the credits, every name lacks capitalization, except for one: “Him,” Bardem’s character.

Bardem portrays a well-established author struggling with writer’s block while Lawrence portrays his nurturing wife reviving their home. Eventually, Bardem discovers inspiration within his wife, publishes his new book, and gains bountiful fans. These devoted followers invade and ultimately raid the house that Lawrence had a deep connection to. From praising false idols, to war and violence, to inhouse baptisms, the individuals send Lawrence to her breaking point. Despite the frenzy, Bardem is still forgiving. By being prideful in his artistry and those loyal to it, Bardem neglects his wife and their house, leading to their demise. Taking references from the Bible such as the tale of Adam and Eve and an all-forgiving figure, “mother!” carries religious analogies to present a universal message.
This film symbolizes humanity (the invasive strangers) upsetting Mother Nature (Lawrence) and ruining the world (the house). Gaining inspiration from “The Giving Tree” and the world’s current environmental standing, Aronofsky, in a recent interview with Time Magazine, upholds the position that “by descending into the dark, you can reveal the light. I hope the movie inspires people to act.” Despite the controversy, “mother!” achieves its goal: to spark conversation about the home that is “not your home, not my home, but our home.”