|Clever marketing I'll give them that. That's about all I'll give them.|
So where do I begin ...I threw up, and I came home shaking. And no this wasn't from a night of heavy drinking. I don't drink anymore but after seeing Mother! I wish someone had stuck a bottle of vodka up my ass. So many things bother me about this absolute garbage presented as art, (and I should know, I wrote my graduate thesis on Warhol). So, let's start with the big one: ripping off so many filmmakers I can't even count. I'll take you through the short list. The obvious one is Polanski, in particular Rosemary's Baby, then the body horror sub-genre created by one David Cronenberg which was totally bastardized. The pseudo-realism of Michelle Gondry, and the female protagonist suffering and being unconscionably passive a la Cassavetes (who is one of my favorite filmmakers).
Horror movie that took forever to horror was not so much a fright or a smart unraveling of a mystery like say Get Out, which breathed new life into a dying genre. This was just torture. I paid Aronofsky to torture me for 2 hours and three showers couldn't shake that shit off of me.
This blog post might not make much sense but that's how disoriented I am. Fuck this movie, seriously. I know that Aronofsky has a penchant for religious symbolism and imagery but pick a fucking lane. You either utilize the symbolism or you go full monty on the blood and guts. This was the latter as if I was watching a film student ripping off the SAW franchise. To say that this was an unpleasant experience is an understatement, but back to the religion stuff. There's a shit ton of it and he's spreading it thick like cement; he's layering it like a parfait; pick a metaphor.
|This was in the trailer so it's fair game. Really driving the Garden of Eden metaphor all the way home.|
One thing that my friend and I agreed on was this whole idea that Aronofsky seems to be obsessed with is the parable from the Old Testament where God is apparently drunk on the job and keeps creating societies that he disapproves of, boom comes a flood, and clean new start. That's actually explored and nuanced (somewhat sloppily in his prior film; Noah), but that sentiment is crammed down our throats so hard with a chimney sweep's brush. Apparently Aronofsky has never heard of nor is familiar with the concept of subtlety. I really can't go further into it without revealing the plot and the marketing department made so sure that they weren't going to give away ANYTHING to trick people into shelving out 12 dollars to see CENSORED CENSORED of fucking CENSORED CENSORED. Here are a few biblical themes that I'm just going to shuffle for you just to confuse you because I'm confused and I don't want to be the only one: Cain and Abel, immaculate conception, Sodom and Gomorrah, Jesus healing the blind, lots of Jesus actually; garden of Eden, forbidden fruit, original sin, there's some myth of Sisyphus sprinkled on it as well. It literally just builds until even the most well versed graduate student in Divinity would go; fuck this shit.
|Director David Cronenberg in between takes with his star James Woods on the set of the film Videodrome; which this film steals heavily from and as a Cronenberg superfan, it's infuriating.|
Want to watch a competent film with religious allegory check out Fellini's Satyricon, Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures, Todd Hayne's Poison, ANYTHING by Ingmar Bergman, or even some episodes of 'Lost' will do.
Another thing that really pissed me off was that Aronofsky decided to throw out structure all together. You really would think that this was some bullshit made by a first year film student at a bottom tier film school (sorry film schools). Movie takes two and a half acts to movie and most of the first 110 or so minutes are following Jennifer Lawrence with a shaky hand held, camera making me more nauseous than watching Blair Witch on the big screen. It was done so much ad nauseam that I actually got to study her cool updo's and french braids pretty well because there was little else to do.
Again, I really can't go into the plot, and if I did, you wouldn't see the film, but how about this; take my word for it. I'll even throw money into the pot. Don't see this movie. Or do, you might be a masochist, whatever.
The golden rule of filmmaking that was first coined by the late great Billy Wilder and echoed by filmmakers worth their salt for generations is; 'respect your audience'. You're not making a film for yourself, you're making it so others will see it otherwise, what's the damned point? Aronofsky apparently didn't get that memo.