Mother! is written and directed by Darren Aronofsky. It stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kristen Wiig and many more. It also involves people seeing stars at the end of the movie wondering what they have just witnessed. This is not the first time Darren has done this to his audience.
I got a lot of requests for this movie and I’m afraid I don’t have great news. Spoilers Ahead.
Well, here’s the deal. This is not a film based on time travel. Darren Aronofsky’s interview with Collider makes it very clear that the film’s structure is based on the Bible. This is not an area of knowledge for me, therefore, I will not be able to get to an extremely detailed explanation of the plot. As a result, I would not like to speculate much as these are touchy matters. So I’ll keep it to to the extent Darren Aronofsky himself has spoken about. Please do feel free to comment about your view of the movie/scenes.
Darren has mentioned that this film is about “Mother Nature” and the plight she’s going through. A story from Mother Nature’s point of view as to what humans are bringing upon her. The story is also about cycles of the beginning and the end as orchestrated by the “creator”. The films tells the story through a set of humans within the house. The entire movie is a metaphorical comparison.
The film begins with a woman burning up in flames. This is Mother Nature from the previous cycle. Soon after, we see Him (Javier) place a crystal which causes a reversal of all the destruction caused by the fire.
Mother (Jennifer) is born from this fire. She wakes up and looks for Him. Javier’s character plays the representation of God, the creator. I’ll call him H. The beginning is peaceful and quiet. There is no one. H seems to have a writer’s block and is looking for inspiration. Mother is rebuilding the house. The house can be seen as a representation of Earth. Note that Mother has a connection to this House. She can feel it’s life. She decides to paint it yellow which is a colour that represents hope and peace.
One day, out of the blue, a Man (Ed) arrives at the house. H has, on his own, decided to bring Man into the House. Mother is not happy because she was not consulted with. H ensures that it will be fine and suggests Man stays for the night. Man says he’s a huge “fan” of H and that he has read his “book” many times. He mentions “Your words have changed my life”. H shows him the crystal. This basically summarizes to Adam appearing on Earth and the Bible. The crystal represents the Forbidden Fruit. And the study is the Garden of Eden.
At night we see Man throwing up in the bathroom as H watches over. Mother comes in to find out what’s happening. She notices a wound around the rib area of Man. H asks Mother to leave. This represents the rib of Adam that has been removed for the creation of Eve.
Next day a Woman (Michelle) shows up at the house. Mother is again not happy that the one visitor has now become two. Woman represents Eve. Man and Woman stay in the House and slowly start messing it up, much to Mother’s dislike, but she adjusts. Mother goes back to building the house.
Woman comes to Mother and hands her a drink. Woman has already made herself at home and has messed up the kitchen trying to make drinks. Mother says that she wants to make the house a paradise. Woman asks for a tour and tells Mother that the house is just a setting. Having a kid is what keeps the marriage going. Woman sees the study and she wants to go in. Mother says that H doesn’t like anyone being in there. Later, Woman sneaks back into the study and is staring at the crystal. This represents Eve eyeing the Forbidden Fruit.
Mother notices that Man has a picture of H in his luggage. It’s as though Man worships Him. H tells Mother that he got to know about the picture. Man is dying and wanted to meet Him before he was gone. Just then they hear a noise. Man and Woman have snuck into the study to get their hands on the crystal and have broken it. H and Mother come and see this. H gets furious and asks Man and Woman to leave. After this he barricades the room shut. This bit represents Adam & Eve, Garden of Eden, the Forbidden Fruit, and Being Banished.
Cain and Abel
Mother tries to kick Man and Woman out. Woman gives Mother attitude and slams the door on her face. Then two boys show up in the house. They are the two sons of Man and Woman. The two sons are arguing about their father’s will. The two brothers fight physically. One of the brothers hits the other with a doorknob and wounds him fatally. H, Man, and Woman rush their bleeding son to the hospital but the boy dies. The surviving son briefly appears in the house and eventually leaves. This bit represents Cain and Abel (sons of Adam and Eve) fighting and Cain eventually slaying Abel. Cain leaves the House (Earth) to the life of wandering.
Mother cleans up the blood and discovers that there is a wall in the basement which leads to a tank of oil.
More Humans In The House
H, Man, and Woman return to mourn the dead son. H allows for more people to join them in the house. H says he loves Mother but he doesn’t really act like he does. Mother is forced to agree. Woman thanks only Him for the hospitality but is condescending towards Mother. There is a random group of people in the house now. A few of them mourning while the others are doing their own thing all over the house. Mother finds a couple making out in her room, they don’t care. She asks them to leave and they find Mother to be interfering even though it is her room. All of the people in the house act carelessly around the house and to a great extent don’t care what Mother has to say. Basically, this shows how humans are now misusing the house (Earth).
A couple sits on a sink repeatedly even after Mother tries to explain to them that the sink is not braced yet. Eventually, it breaks and along with it breaks the plumbing in the walls. Water begins to flood the house. Mother screams at everyone and asks them all to leave. This is indicative of the great flood that flushes out the first group of people from the house (Earth).
H and Mother have an argument. Mother says that H doesn’t care about what she thinks. H says he’s trying to bring “life” into the house. Mother feels that H doesn’t give a f*ck, quite literally. She says “You talk about wanting kids, but you can’t even f*ck me”. H has been through this cycle many times. He knows that this event that will lead to a baby will eventually lead to the destruction of the house. Hence he’s been avoiding sleeping with her. But over here a push come to shove, and scene.
They wake up the next morning. Mother announces that she’s pregnant. Well, she says she somehow knows that she is. She is Mother Nature after all. Suddenly H gets his inspiration to write. He says all the people, the events, and the baby has given him the right inspiration. Many months later, he finishes writing. Mother reads it. She’s moved by it. It is beautiful. While she believes she’s the first one to read it, H has already given it out to his publisher who calls to say they love it and they publish it. It’s a success every copy is sold in one day.
Mother prepares a special evening for the just the two of them. As H gets home, random people begin showing up to the house. They have all come to see Him. The crowd of followers increases. Mother asks Him having his baby isn’t enough for him. H loves the adoration. People just start multiplying inside the house. Mother begins to lose all control she has on them. They take away the food and move furniture. H is busy signing autographs. People start looting the house. Groups of worshipers begin getting marked in a religious manner. Cops bust into the house. Rioting begins. People tear up into different groups. The house becomes a war-zone. All of this is a representation of how the increasing human population of Earth has led to looting and plundering the planet.
One soldier tries to help Mother and gets shot in the face. This is to represent that small group of humans who are trying to care for Earth and make a difference but are overpowered by the rest.
Mother is about to have the baby. H takes her upstairs to the study. He shuts the rest out. Here Mother gives birth to a boy. This is supposed to be a representation of the birth of Jesus.
Soon after, there is silence outside. Mother asks H to make them go. H only comes back saying that he doesn’t want them to go and that they all want to see the newborn. Mother says no way. She refuses to give the child to H. They sit for a couple of days right there staring at each other. Mother falls asleep. H takes the baby and gives it to the people.
Bread and Wine
Here’s where the crazy hits tilt. The people carelessly pass around the infant like it’s some rock concert and then snap! Yes, you heard right. The piss-spraying baby’s neck snaps. Mother reaches the altar to find her baby’s corpse, well a part of it. The rest of it is being eaten by the people. I can presume the death of the child had something to do with the crucifixion of Jesus but I am stumped for the rest of the baby-gore here. Somebody, please help. Drop in comments.
Mother loses her shit and takes a broken shard of glass and begins slashing people to death. The people respond by beating the crap out of Mother and calling her names. I suppose this represents the various acts of nature that kill people and people’s response by hurting the planet further.
H intervenes and asks people to back off. Then he tells Mother that they have to find a way to forgive the people. Forgive the people so that they can understand what they have done wrong. Mother gets furious. She causes the floor to crack open. She heads to the basement, to the tank of oil. She tells Him this “You never loved me. You just loved how much I loved you. I gave you everything! You gave it all away”. She uses the oil and blows up the house – destroying the house and everyone in it. Everyone but Him. We see Mother burning up exactly like the previous Mother in the opening sequence. I suppose this is Armageddon. This is the vicious cycle. The End.
H picks a burnt Mother up and says “I am I”. Again emphasizing he’s God and that he’s going to take it all back to the beginning. H says “Nothing is ever enough. I couldn’t create if it was. And I have to. That’s what I do. That’s what I am. Now I must try it all again”. Lastly, H asks Mother for her love. He rips her heart out as she turns to ashes. He rips open the heart to find a crystal within. He places the crystal (similar to how does in the first scene). This causes a reversal of all the destruction caused by the fire. Another Mother is born from the ashes. She gets up and calls out to Him. The film ends. The cycle begins all over again.
Barry is a technologist who helps start-ups build successful products. His love for movies and production has led him to write his well-received film explanation and analysis articles to help everyone appreciate the films better. He’s regularly available for a chat conversation on his website and consults on storyboarding from time to time.
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