Critics have been describing the movie “Mother!” in a variety of ways: horrific, mysterious, confusing, and even stupid. Jennifer Lawrence stars alongside Javier Bardem in director Darren Aronofsky’s twisted take on the Book of Genesis, an allegory of the Bible like no one has ever seen before. Aronofsky also directed “Black Swan” and “Requiem for a Dream,” so it was no surprise that this movie was filled with dark characters and recurring symbols.
The story opens with Lawrence and Bardem living in a big house in what appears to be the middle of nowhere. Their peaceful existence is quickly interrupted by two strangers who invade the house and the couple’s privacy. As the intruders begin to make themselves a little too at home, tension gives way to violence. In a deafening crescendo of a climax, humanity appears at its worst: screaming, crying, and literally tearing the house apart. In the audience, hands were glued to mouths in awe of the horror. Some of the scenes were so intense that people had to look away.
Though the plot is biblical, the film is also a larger metaphor for the destruction humans are wreaking on the environment. The graphic display of what will happen if we continue to take until there is nothing left but chaos is a warning. It is disturbing. “Mother!” is hard to watch because the reality it portrays could be our future if we do not stop harming our planet. This prophetic feature draws audiences in and leaves them with a sense of dread rising in the pits of their stomachs.