Darren Aronofsky is best known for his surreal and disturbing films, and his latest release “mother!’ is no different, with many audiences leaving cinemas perplexed by the mystery drama.
Below is a rundown of the key themes and the meaning behind some of the film’s most significant moments.
There are spoilers ahead, so if you’re planning on seeing the film (which I wholeheartedly recommend you do), it’s best to stop reading now.
Quite simply, mother! follows a biblical theme, more specifically the book of Genesis and the story of Creation.
Javier Bardem’s character, simply known as Him, represents God. He has created Mother Nature (played by Jennifer Lawrence), who is responsible for designing their home (the Garden of Eden).
Enter Man/Adam (Ed Harris). During a brief scene in which Man is being ill in the toilet, we catch a glimpse of a scar on his rib, which we presume was used to create Woman/Eve (Michelle Pfeiffer), a character we are introduced to the following day.
Woman quickly grows attached to the crystal (the forbidden fruit) in the office, which, despite Mother’s repeat instructions not to touch it, is shattered into a thousand pieces. Mother also catches Man and Woman having sex, which is considered a sin. Soon after these events, the downward spiral begins.
It’s not long before we meet the squabbling brothers (Brian and Domhnall Gleeson), who represent Cain and Abel. Just like their biblical counterparts, a fight breaks out which results in the death of the younger sibling.
In the film’s second act when the home is swarming with people, Mother is insistent that nobody sits on the sink that isn’t braced to the wall. When two young adults start bouncing on the sink, it collapses, causing water to pour into the house and forcing everyone to evacuate – a reference to Noah’s ark (and also a nod to the film which Darren Aronofsky wrote and directed).
This is soon followed by Mother giving birth to a son (Jesus), who is stolen from her grasps and passed through the crowd, where he is killed and eaten. These scenes are symbolic of The Passion and The Last Supper, in which Jesus shared bread and wine to his disciples as a token of his body and blood respectively.