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Most critics found the film to be rather well imagined. Audiences, for the most part, stayed away as if the picture could transfer a virus upon viewing it. The Darren Aronofsky think piece Mother! (2017) brings together a disparate amount of allusions, similes, and representations. With the eerie pacing and jump scenes, the movie at first glance would warrant one to call it a basic scare fest. In actuality, it is a psychological thriller that expounds on some weighty issues that ought to be explored and evaluated based on their merits. From actress Jennifer Lawrence’s earnest and understated performance to actor Javier Bardem’s ferocious yet controlled acting chops, the picture presents a shocking and unsettling portrait of creation, love, destruction, and rebirth. The cinematography alone draws in the viewer with its tinted palette and color scheme. The editing is at times slow and cerebral and at other times chaotic and terrifying. As a whole, the project may be Aronofsky’s finest work. Each of the scenes carry on to the next not just to develop character and move along the plot, but to establish the idiosyncrasies that fill the screen. All of the pieces of the puzzle of the film fall into place in a nuanced and comprehensible fashion. Christianity and environmentalism, mysticism and altruism, really, have been argued as prime motivators for the Requiem for a Dream (2000) director to imbue into this project. So, grab your cigarettes for that cough and remind everyone that you don’t want in your house to get out for, Why Are You Ranking: Best Metaphors in the Film Mother! Listed from Shallow to Heavy ***(SPOILERS AHEAD)***
The Object of Creation
3. The Crystal Object
This may be the simplest piece of the entire film. It represents cyclicism. After the fire and everything in the house is consumed, Javier Bardem’s character as a poet or creator or simply Him, is untouched by the flames while Jennifer Lawrence’s Mother Earth character is charred almost beyond recognition. As he extracts her heart from her body and smashes it, a new crystal is formed and the film jumps to the scene from the beginning. This is a clear-cut example of the “circle of life.” It’s rather straightforward.
Don't Bite (the Fruit) Eve...
2. The Man and Woman
Brusque and uncomplimentary, Man played by Ed Harris and Woman played by Michelle Pfeiffer call to mind the destruction that (get this) men and women have caused to the Earth over the millenia. As Adam and Eve, the two of them find themselves to be the beginning of all human suffering. Though totally false and even malevolent on Aronofsky’s part, he peddles this outright lie to the viewer. With Harris' Man as a gruff, smoking doctor and Pfeiffer as an insufferable Woman, they allow their two sons to enter the house (Earth). As many have pointed out, the two sons are Cain and Abel like creatures where Oldest Brother must deal with the consequences of killing Younger Brother. Man and Woman are of course a reflection of humanity letting loose a murderer into the world. Mysticism abounds here, rearing its vicious head.
Rank: Somewhat Deep
1. The Body of Christ
The people who rush through the house and take hold of Mother’s infant and eat it is a direct message of the evil, selfless, devouring of the sacrificial lamb that was Jesus. As the child is chomped on by the orgy of unselfish hordes, it is clear to see that this is a representation of the Eucharist. While Christians would hate to admit this, Communion is just a metaphor for cannibalism. Aronofsky depicts this dichotomy that Christians hold about magnifying a man who sent himself on a suicide mission and told generations of people to “eat of His body and drink of His blood.” With Mother bent on eradicating the earth of cruel people, she seeks to destroy the house with an inferno that inflames all the inhabitants of the house, including her. The notion of the “fire next time” is the idea which rings true here. While the book of II Peter may profess such an event as the Earth being scorched may come to pass, will humans be on the Moon and Mars by that time anyway?