Mother

April 28, 2018

IMHO - Mother (2017 Darren Aronofsky) is the sort of cultural masterpiece that shows how genius is always ahead of it's time, and is usually unappreciated in its time.

 

Mother evokes the nature of a nightmare with extraordinary skill. The dream doesn't rely on weirdness to conjure the experience of dreaming like, say, the very impressive Mirrormask (2005 Dave McKean); but instead portrays lead character Mother's (Jennifer Lawrence - who is as superb as usual) oneiric world more subtly.

 

Like all of us, Mother is a puppet of her psychology. Her character cannot tolerate her husband's (Javier Bardem as Him) genius because it attracts hordes of admirers, who are, to her, intruders on the private world she wants to share exclusively with Him.

 

As a writer (screenwriter or not), one can appreciate that approbation is utterly essential to the creative force. Most screenwriters spend most of their time seeking acceptance and not getting it. It hurts. The pain numbs, but never quite goes away insofar as it scars. Without it, genius withers.

 

The Him character cannot be without his worshippers; they are his wellspring: his lodestar. Without them, he withers. Woman after woman must may the price for this necessity; Mother after Mother must endure the horror of sharing him, and of being trapped inside an identity that extends little further than that of doting womb. This is, quite rightly, a feminist's worst nightmare, and no doubt Aronofsky wanted to make that point when he lead the team that made this brave and brilliant film. 

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