Known simply as Mother (Jennifer Lawrence – Passengers, X-Men: Apocalypse) and Him (Javier Bardem) a couple’s relationship is put to the ultimate test a stranger, Man (Ed Harris – In Dubious Battle, Gravity) arrives, and stays the night at their house. Soon after his wife, Woman (Michelle Pfeiffer), joins him. The uninvited guests disrupt their tranquil existence, with more and more people arriving as things begin to spiral more and more out of control, bringing with them their own strife.
Mother presents itself as a deep, metaphoric story, with the plot spanning many levels and layers. It poses questions to the viewer, and strives to evoke debate. With more and more strangers arriving, and Him allowing them access to both family and the house, Mother is put under more and more pressure. The stress of all these people demanding her husbands attention, while she is relegated to being his inspiration, and looking after the house, causes Mother much anguish. As her world darkens, so do the foreboding presence in their family home. This begins to tear their relationship apart, meaning that there lies yet another obstacle in their path seeking attention.
With the many layers in the film, one watch the film as a mere horror, or drama. Delve a little deeper, and you begin to look at the metaphor, or compare the plot to other works of myth or fiction. The cerebral aspect of the film will leave one with many questions once done watching, either leaving viewers with a desire to go back and watch again with the benefit of foresight, or being totally lost and not enjoying the film at all. And that there is likely a reason for much of the international audience feedback on the film being at the extremes, of very good and very bad. If you do not understand the film, just go along for the ride. But, a modicum of understanding can lead one down many paths of debate.
A multi-faceted film, with many messages for viewers, and one that asks the viewer to think and provide some point of reference, Mother is a film that might be lost on many mainstream viewers, yet is certainly one for those who enjoy stretching the mind, and are open to debate.
Mother opens 10 November 2017 in cinemas, in South Africa.