From the director of 'Black Swan' and 'Requiem for a Dream' comes another film which deals with a dark subject matter and an unconventional way of telling it. I saw the film without knowing much detail going into the cinema and I believe that it payed off as I had no expectations. It's hard to explain the film without spoiling it, so this review will not go into any detail of the plot whatsoever.
The main thing to note is the way Aronofsky directs this film. The whole film feel like a horrible nightmare, Not because of it's visuals, but for the visceral experience it brings. Just like a nightmare the characters behave somewhat off and the sense of time becomes distorted. This film will divide people because of the way it tells it's story. This is the type of film which requires you to take a leap of faith and detach yourself from reality. My interpretation of the film is that it is a recreation of a nightmare, which is demonstrated by the writing and directing (particularly the POV shots)
The film relies on it's performances to make you invested into what's happening and the actors don't let the film down at all. Jennifer Lawrence is subdued but suitably so, until the film goes into it's second and third act when her performance transforms into one of her best in recent years. Javier Bardem is known for playing creepy characters, so it's always a worry that Hollywood will typecast him, but in the film he has a new corner to explore and he turns in another great performance. The Supporting cast which include Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson and Brian Gleeson all give performances that entice you further into the story, despite having little screen time.
Overall, 'Mother!' is a thought-provoker of the first degree. It won't please everyone, nor should it. It's an unpleasant viewing, but in my eyes an essential one. No matter how you feel about Darren Aronofsky you can't deny that his films are atmospheric, which is the most effective skill you can have as a director when you are crafting a horror film. The only tiny problem I have with this film is that I felt that the grand idea in the finally felt over enforced, nevertheless 'Mother!' is an effective horror film which left an impression on me as I am sure it will with others.