REVIEW – Darren Aronofsky’s mother!


I’ve not heard a good word said about Darren Aronofsky.

The people I know that have interviewed and been in his presence tell tales of an arrogant, pretentious gentleman but even without those reports, if you had to pick an arsehole out of a police line up, you’d be pointing the finger his way.

However, it’s this arrogance and pretension that makes him one of the most interesting filmmakers around. His ambition and the belief in his own talent is gigantic and although these qualities are admirable, the belief that he is not as good as he thinks he is opens the door to ridicule, but it shouldn’t. Everyone knows that Icarus never reached the sun, but nobody talks about how high he got before his wings melted.

There have been oodles of absurd reviews of the film which have brought to the surface the inner jerk of critics itching to show the world how clever they are and although that would usually aggravate me, I fully appreciate their desire to decode and if i had the time or the inclination, I’d write an essay on it. 

There are the obvious religious and environmental themes and allegories. Aronofsky is peddling the angle that Jennifer Lawrence is Mother Earth and there is plenty of the Genesis story in there. Eden, Adam’s rib, Cain and Abel. It could be read as a prequel to Noah and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the seeds of the story didn’t spring from that thought.

What I got was the relationship between an artist and his muse. The Poet (Bardem/Aronofsky) thrives on love, adulation and chaos. They’re the fuel that inspires him to create. Peace and harmony bores him so he allows the madness of the outside world into his life. He knows that by doing so this will eventually lead to the destruction of the relationship he is in at the time and he doesn’t do it with malicious intent, but the creation is more important than the relationship. The chaos he brings into their life excites him, stirs him and gives him his mojo back which leads to the creation of a new poem (A film, maybe this film) and a baby. He sends his poem out into the world, the fans and the press swarm and he revels in it, neglecting the needs of his wife and his child in the process. Finally, the very symbol of their love is torn apart due to his neglect, his partner finally breaks and the relationship is destroyed but The Poet takes the memory of her and their love, puts it on the shelf and awaits his next muse/victim, to begin the same cycle of creation again.

Now, I am fully aware that many people reading this will think what I just wrote is a load of old twaddle, and it might be, but if that is what Aronofsky intended then he is as good as he thinks he is. He’s taken us on a trip through his subconscious and by design, created a piece of exceptional art. On the other hand, if he’s just dropped a bunch of ideas in a blender and thrown it all at the wall to see what sticks, has he not also created a piece of exceptional art? I’ll leave that for you to debate, as I’m currently undecided, but whatever the conclusion, Mother! deserves five stars for just making me think about such things.