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Film review: Read about what we thought of Mother!

PUBLISHED: 10:20 19 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:30 19 September 2017

Film poster for Mother! Picture: MEGAN ALDOUS

Film poster for Mother! Picture: MEGAN ALDOUS

Archant

Since his 1998 debut with Pi Darren Aronofsky has established himself as a film-maker who pushes the boundaries of mainstream surrealist cinema, combining genre and fantastical imagery to examine religion, addiction and mental health.

With psychological horror Mother! Aronofsky infuses his film with grotesque Lynchian imagery to explore the nature of belief and the destruction of mother earth.

The film focuses on the titular unnamed Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) and her reclusive husband (Javier Bardem) whose idyllic existence is disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious couple (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer), at whose hands their house becomes a living, breathing character; withering and decaying as Mother’s world is torn apart.

At the centre of this disarray is Lawrence, her increasingly frantic expressions and movements perfectly capturing the hysteria that has gripped the character.

Bardem plays the closest thing the film has to an antagonist.

Audiences will be used to him as a bizarrely coiffured villain but here he plays someone more sinister and altogether more human.

Harris and Pfeiffer provide strong support as the strange houseguests and Domhnall and Brian Gleeson shine as their lecherous offspring.

The film descends into a harrowing ordeal so demented that it will surely alienate some audiences.

Those who are able to cope with the overwhelming events will be rewarded with a twist that is surprising and horrifying in equal measure.

While the histrionic finale may be too much for some Mother! is a rewarding horror bolstered by strong direction and superb central performances.

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