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Film Analysis

Mother! (2017) - Shreya Sachdev

At first, everything seems to be normal. Mother! starts off by showing us Jenifer Lawrence who is seen to be living a peaceful life with her husband (Javier Bardem) both characters which are given no name throughout the film besides Mother and Him. We learn in the beginning of the film that the woman who is waking up in his bed is part of an occurring cycle that has most likely happened numerous times before. He is now starting another cycle after the previous one ended in destruction. This time, the cycle is with Jenifer Lawrence's incarnation as mother. The cycle idea is a big theme in the movie as many things in the universe operate in a cyclical way. But, most importantly, nature (dying and then being reborn) operates in a cyclical way. The parallel between mother nature and man (as evident between the relationship between husband and wife in this movie) is certainly by design. As more and more people show up at the house, they turn the house into chaos which shows the audience the impact that humanity has had on nature. The main symbolism that occurs in this movie is the symbolic relationship of Mother and Him. Mother represents Mother Nature whereas Him represents God. This relationship becomes clear when the audience views how loyal and giving Mother is towards everyone around her, especially to Him. Despite the fact that Mother feels uncomfortable having so many people inside of her house, she continues to obey her husband and lets these people inside, because she knows that having these people inside of her home makes Him happy and gives him inspiration for his next novel. Soon, however, Mother has had enough and stands up for herself by telling Him that she is upset that he has not touched her in months. Mother and Him have sex, and Mother wakes up pregnant the next morning. The next few months seem to be going extremely well for Mother and Him, because the pregnancy is going well and there are no more guests inside of their home. Along with this, Him is able to find inspiration for his next novel and publishes his book. However, this is also when things begin to go awry. On the night that Mother decides to cook a special dinner for Him and celebrate their anniversary, thousands of fans show up at their home and break inside. Unfortunately, this is also the moment that Mother is about to give birth. Mother is able to find a room and lock herself keeping everyone out. Him finds Mother in time, and helps her give birth. Mother is able to successfully give birth to their son, and requests Him to get rid of all the people inside of their house. Him, however, declines and tells her that he wants the people to stay. Not only does he tell her that he wants them to stay, but also tells her that he wants to show them their newborn son. Mother is horrified, and immediately tells him that he is not allowed to hold their baby. Him decides to wait for Mother to fall asleep, so that he can then hold his newborn son and show everyone outside. Mother, aware of this, decides to keep herself awake for as long as possible whilst holding her son close to her. When Mother can no longer stay awake anymore, Him grabs the opportunity and lets everyone inside their home hold his son. Mother, wakes up to her worst nightmare when she sees that her son is no longer in her arms. She dashes out of the room and pushes through the crowd to get her baby, but is soon struck when she hears the sound of a neck cracking. When she rushes to the front, she sees that her baby’s neck has been cracked and that everyone is eating the flesh of her baby. I think that Darren Aronofsky is trying to criticize the way people can become so obsessed with god. I truly think that this entire film is a criticism of religion, and how society gives much too power to god and the unknown. When you watch the scene of the house being broken into and people fighting over the objects that Him has touched, you really realize how psychotic these fans are and how chaotic the entire situation has become. Interestingly enough, this is something that we see in our everyday lives when it comes to god. We have people murdering others just because they don’t agree with their viewpoint and because they believe that what they are doing is right. Him is portrayed as a celebrity, but is actually a symbol of god and the amount of power that society gives to god, and the devastating consequences that this has. This entire movie is a criticism of religion.

Shreya Sachdev