Last weekend, I got the opportunity to see mother! (2017), an American psychological horror film, with Jennifer Lawrence. As many of you know, I am a weaksauce against horror films. Still, I am trying my best to enjoy more of this genre. Surprisingly, mother! gave me more things to think about rather than to be scared of.
The movie starts with a couple (mother and husband) living peacefully in a house that’s being restored, but suddenly get introduced with an outsider couple. The audience is looking from behind the shoulders of Jennifer Lawrence’s character, mother. Him as we call him, is mother’s husband. Him is a famous poet and is struggling with a writer’s block. He gives the strangers a warm welcome by offering them to stay over. From then on, the story gets more intertwined with other people, who are actually fans of him’s poetry.
That is pretty much the gist of the story – random people intruding in the lives of mother and him. However, it turns out that him was very pleased with the attention and the fame. Despite the horrors that came with it, him was never going to let go of the one-sided perspective of the better end – all the while mother was sulking and left alone to deal with the short end of the stick. That is the topic I want to discuss about.
Believe it or not, I used to be very blind in my relationship. I tend to favour my friends and family. I let them decide what’s the best and direct me in where I need to go in my life. In the very end, I end up saying: ”it is all okay” or ”they mean no harm” or even ‘‘they know what’s the best for me”. In a way, it is very similar to him, who got overwhelming attention and fame when his newest creation hit the shelves.
Another important angle is the perspective from mother’s side. Unconsciously, you start to notice the anxiety and how uncomfortable she is feeling from the moment strangers wander into the house. The movie makes the audience understand what mother is feeling and how anxiety inducing the situation has become. Some examples include: inviting strangers to stay over, more strangers coming in for a mourning burial ceremony invited by the first strangers, (and yes!) even more strangers coming in to have an uninvited party. In daily life, people tend to oversee these trespassings as an act of friendliness or support. A collective mind towards an action is a very dangerous act. When this hivemind starts to have signs of losing humanity, it is even more threatening and evil – that’s what I think, was the true horror of mother!. It speaks on more personal levels when the universal emotion of fear is NOT the point of this horror film. Instead, it was actually the other negative emotions that people rarely talk about, because it might make them have to admit something about themselves that they don’t want to.
I came out of the movie theater, not with a pair of wet pants but a mind scrambled like the eggs you make for breakfast. Mother! did more to me than any other recent horror movie – and this is coming from someone who is not a horror fan. I recommend anyone to see it. And it is okay to cover your eyes when the plot is too unbearable, because I did. Remember to come back here after you see it. I will be happy to discuss about it.