New on Blu-ray: mother!
Darren Aronofsky’s mother!, one of the most inventive and divisive films of the year, arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD combo pack today courtesy of Paramount Home Media Distribution.
A dizzying experience that is both thrilling and infuriating mother! is a film that reveals itself in different ways to different eyes. On one level, it is an exploration of artistic creation and the pains that come with it. Javier Bardem plays a famed poet who is suffering from an almost maddening case of writer’s block. Living in an isolated house, which his wife (Jennifer Lawrence) is renovating, his quest for inspiration seems to take a positive turn when a strange man (Ed Harris), and eventually his partner (Michelle Pfeiffer), arrive at his door. While Bardem’s poet seems to embrace these new visitors, Lawrence’s character, the titular Mother, is uneasy about these new guests as strange things begin to occur.
If taking the film at face value, then mother! is a horror film that builds its suspense slowly before going off the rails in the last act. Those approaching the film using a biblical lens will find the film more fulfilling. It is when the sons (Brian Gleeson and Domhnall Gleeson) of the houseguests, who have clearly overstayed their welcome in Mother’s eyes, arrive that the brilliance of the film begins to reveal itself.
Capturing elements of the Old Testament, and the turbulent history of civilization, in one frantic and unsettling setting, Aronofsky’s film has plenty to say about everything from the environment to social injustice to celebrity worship.
Is mother! a perfect film? No. It often feels the need to spell out its allegory rather than let it subtly sink in. Yet its messiness is what makes it great. The film does not just swing for the fences, it rips the fence down.
As textured as the film is, the Blu-ray is sparse on special features. This is actually fitting when considering the themes flowing throughout. The most captivating extra is the “mother! The Downward Spiral” featurette in which Aronofsky, Lawrence and Bardem and members of the crew shed light on the lengthy preparation work and key technical elements needed to bring the film to screen.
A challenging and creative piece of cinema, mother! is a one of the year’s must-see films.
mother! The Downward Spiral
The Makeup FX of mother!