“Mother!” Review

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Mother! (2017)

<<<I took care not to reveal any specific spoilers, but some discretion when reading is still advised>>>

Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!”….I am happy to report that there is no need for some mass panic. “Mother!”  may start slow, but it proves to be a very enjoyable “descent” into sheer madness overall. The initial story here is Him (Javier Bardem) and Her (Jennifer Lawrence) settling into a married life in a country mansion, until one couple (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) become their pestering lodgers against the wishes of Her. Ironically, the main flaw of Aronofsky’s psychological horror film “Mother!” is that it is not his first film. If it were, it would have been a masterpiece of achievement. Instead, “Mother!” is just the “recycling” of the elements/tricks present in Aronofsky’s previous films. How does this affect this film, one may ask? Well, Aronofsky’s “recycling” of his ideas reduces the overall effect, impact and unpredictability of “Mother!” by as much as 80%. “Mother!” formula is quite simple to understand. The film is structurally and archetypically “Black Swan” (2010) + touches of some “over-the-top” home invasion and “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968). This is all to it. And, where it is not all, it also incorporates, quite evidently, Aronofsky’s artful orange-colour bursting creativity and philosophy we have all previously seen in “The Fountain” (2006) and biblical/allegorical references. The saddest thing here is that the film is quite entertaining and even brilliant in parts, and the premise would have been completely unforgettable had Aronofsky been more original in his work.

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Darren Aronofsky is at it again…

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After making his “Black Swan” (2010) out of Satoshi Kon’s “Perfect Blue” (1997) (see my article on the topic here), Darren Aronofsky now seems to make his new film “Mother!” out of everyone’s much beloved horror classic “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968). The phrases “paying homage” and “drawing inspiration” really camouflage the lack of artistic ideas and originality, and it is a pity. More than a pity. If Aronofsky’s shameful “Perfect Blue/Black Swan” creation showed a deplorable disregard for another form of art, his now seemingly hybrid “Rosemary’s Baby/Mother!” monster confirms that there is really nothing sacred left when it comes to making new films in the 21st century.  And, even if Aronofsky’s new film “Mother!” will contain virtually nothing in common/ no similarities with Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby“, the new poster to his film “Mother!” is really a step too far, and, surely, demonstrates the lack of basic artistic respect for the previous work of art. How hard is it really to make one’s own movie poster and restrain oneself from dragging the fans of Polanski’s masterpiece into your own money-making machine? 

First Teaser Trailer: Aronofsky’s “Mother!”

Here’s just a hint of what happens when you turn a top-flight director, “Black Swan” maestro Darren Aronofsky — and two Oscar winners (Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem) loose on the horror genre. Can “Mother!” survive the inevitable build-up of expectations that such potential generates? The first teaser trailer, here, gives us a hint.

via First Teaser trailer — Aronofsky’s horrific “Mother!” — Movie Nation


Aronofsky’s previous film “Noah” (2014) was bearable at best. Here, he may look to revert back to “Black Swan“(2010)-like psychological thriller/horror, but despite the talented cast, I am afraid he could fall short on originality (stranger(s) coming to live in one’s home?), and on intelligence. With films like this, it is important not overthink things, and looking at the film’s title and its poster, it could be nothing but over-stylised mayhem. The film is also set to compete at the forthcoming Venice International Film Festival.

“Perfect Blue” (1997) vs. “Black Swan” (2010): Is Aronofsky’s Black Swan Perfectly Blue?

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Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 featureBlack Swan” is an Academy Award-nominated film, telling the story of a young ballerina Nina Sayers, whose transformation from a shy ballet dancer to a leading heroine ballerina of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” production causes a psycho-sexual breakdown. “Perfect Blue” is a lesser known 1997 Japanese animated movie based on a novel by Yoshikazu Takeuchi, telling the story of Mima Kirigoe, whose rapid descent from an admired pop-idol into a “tarnished” rookie actress has disastrous consequences.

In this piece, I will compare the two films closely, arguing that the two films share substantial similarities in terms of the plot, character, style, design, execution and the little details, pointing to the conclusion that the very underrated “Perfect Blue” was – at the very least – the direct and main inspiration for “Black Swan” (and even something much more than that), though Aronofsky himself denied the claim. Going further, the similarities are so striking that it could even be said that Aronofsky essentially re-made “Perfect Blue”, but changed the setting to a ballet, and re-modelled some characters, disguising them as others. 

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“Black Swan” Review

Black Swan (2010)   

**SPOILER ALERT**

Directed by Darren Aronofsky (‘Requiem for a Dream’ (2000)), ‘Black Swan’ is an ambitious psychological horror film promising to submerge the viewer into the world of classical ballet, game of sexual seduction and pure psychological delirium, but has it delivered? 

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