A nailed-on, must-see, Marmite masterpiece Discuss this article

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“Baby?” That’s the first thing we hear in Darren Aronofsky’s unhinged psychodrama, an instant landmark of test-your-limits cinema. It’s the groggy call of a young wife whose name is never mentioned (Jennifer Lawrence) who wakes up alone in bed, uncertain where her poet husband (Javier Bardem) is. But “Baby?” is also a clue into the deeper mummy-drama to come. Will there be a baby for them? And if so, when? Will it be too soon, or not soon enough? To compare Mother! to other mama-minded thrillers like Rosemary’s Baby and Don’t Look Now is almost selling it short. This one’s a crucible of sweaty pre-natal panic, with a script that must represent hundreds of hours of therapy.

There’s a tension between this couple: a war of aloofness and neediness. So far, so Polanskian. Given how deliciously unsettling this first hour is, it’s hard to know precisely when the movie slips the leash of reality. Mother! is a movie that invents new shades of mania, building to a calamitous, symbolic, brutal swirl of violence around his now-pregnant hero. You cringe at the viciousness.

Grappling with the gore-soaked, unrelenting, powerhouse climax is the moviegoing challenge of the year. Mother! is the most radical studio film in what might just be forever.

The bottom line
A nailed-on, must-see, Marmite masterpiece.

By Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out Doha,


  • Duration: 121
  • Released: Thu, 05 Oct
  • Language: English
  • Director: Darren Aronofsky
  • Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris

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