25 September 2017

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Join us on Facebook!
There's a knock at the door, Javier Bardem's man of the house opens it to reveal a stranger and for some reason his wife, Jennifer Lawrence, doesn't divorce him straight away. If somebody I know knocks on my door then I dive behind the sofa as though a fucking shot has just been fired through the window. If it's a stranger knocking then not only am I not going to answer but I'm one fucking step away from setting the dogs on them. Luckily for them that one step is actually owning some attack dogs, but even if I'm not having these wannabe-guests ripped apart, then I'm still certainly not going to invite them in. Alas this is exactly what Bardem does when Ed Harris's stranger comes a-knocking and despite the fact that they don't know each other from fucking Adam, it's decided that the guest can stay the night. Not that Lawrence is especially happy about this because not only is Ed Harris a stranger but he's also Ed fucking Harris. Nothing good ever happens in movies when Ed Harris shows up. Hey, do you remember that movie where Ed Harris turns up and they all live happily ever after? No! Because it never fucking happens!

Sadly for Lawrence, things get even worse when Harris's wife Michelle Pfeiffer turns up and decides she's going to stay in their house too. Essentially the first third of the movie is kind of like a horror remake of that first Hobbit movie in which all the dwarves turn up for lunch without invitation. Except instead of dwarves wanting to talk about killing a dragon, it's the Harris family trying to cave each other's fucking heads in with a doorknob. In his previous film Noah, director Darren Aronofsky claimed to have made “the least-biblical film ever” in which he had Russell Crowe stamping about the ark and trying to stab a couple of babies. It was like listening to a drunken priest attempt to read the Bible and accidentally getting it confused with the plot of The Shining and it was fucking brilliant. Well since then it seems that Aronofsky has accidentally spotted himself in the mirror, flicked two fingers up at himself and thought “fuck it.. I can go weirder”. And so with his latest film, which is set almost completely in this one isolated house, we have one of the oddest interpretations of the Bible ever; analogies to man's mistreatment of the planet; and finally our apocalypse. I'd always wondered why my neighbours made so much fucking noise next door. If this film is anything to go by I might stop banging on the wall and screaming at them to “shut the fuck up” and just leave them to it from now on.

I won't give too much away, but it doesn't take a genius to work out that Bardem's character is representative of God. Although it does take an idiot to not work it out as one PVC-clad tramp and her lobotomised boyfriend uttered “this film makes no sense” before storming out of the screening we were in. As the woman obsessed with keeping her home, which happens to be this couple's entire world, in perfect condition, Lawrence is clearly mother nature. Although sometimes she's the film's Virgin Mary-figure too because, fuck it, this is the kind of movie you just have go with. Harris's 'Man' and Pfeiffer's 'Woman' are Adam and Eve who turn up and start ballsing things up in this Eden-like paradise by making themselves a little too comfortable and breaking Bardem's one rule of not going into his private room. I should clarify that this private room is where he works as a writer and therefore where he keeps his thoughts or 'truth', and not like in most men's 'private room' in which the only rules are “don't touch the wall” and “no black lights”. They also have two children who like Cain and Abel don't really see eye to eye. I'm not particularly a God person myself but from my understanding, Cain and Abel are sort of like the Bible's version of the Gallagher brothers.

In the second third of the film a fuck tonne more guests arrive and mother! becomes a sort of gritty adaptation of when social media first began and those house party invites would accidentally go viral and suddenly a thousand horny teenagers would descend like a destructive and badly-pubed plague. When making Noah, the non-religious Aronofsky said that he was more interested in the environmental themes of the story than simply using celluloid to kiss the sky-wizard's arse. In fact, as a result of this he was even described by the American talk-show host Glenn Beck as being guilty of “rabid environmentalism”. Although I've no idea why caring about the environment is a bad thing? Glenn Beck himself was described by satirist and personal hero Charlie Brooker as being like Peter Finch's mental character in Network, “only crazier and played by Paul Giamatti in a blonde wig” and I know which description I prefer. No offence to Paul Giamatti. So I guess when the legions of house guests continue to flood in and trash the house this is representative of how man is now destroying the planet with their complete lack of respect, greed, and eventual over-population. Although if you want to help stem over-population then making more men look like Glenn Beck might be a start. Again.. no offence to Paul Giamatti.

If you were to ignore the subtext of the film then it could be argued that Lawrence's character spends the bulk of the movie being trampled all over by everybody, when she should be reaching for the baseball bat and swinging. However it should be obvious to anybody watching that there's a kind of dream logic at work here with another reading of the film being that it's all one giant metaphor for what it feels like to suffer from anxiety. Lawrence feels inferior to her husband, is constantly worried that she's going to lose him, and feels completely ignored by him and everybody around him. I had a girlfriend that suffered from anxiety who once told me that she felt like that with me. Although at the time I was trying to break up with the crazy bitch and so by coincidence she wasn't entirely wrong on that occasion. Lawrence's character is almost secondary to the action too as though life is going by and she's only able to spectate rather than participate as the anger of the situation slowly builds up inside of her. Each house guest represents a new worry or stress that enters her brain with the knock of the door constantly denying her a second's peace of mind. This idea is aided too by the fact that the film is shown entirely from her subjective point of view, by generally having the camera claustrophobically over her shoulder or tightly held on her face. Thankfully, even if a film has nothing else going for it at all, Lawrence has a face that will prevent me from ever getting completely bored... which is lucky for Passengers.

Throughout the movie it's worth mentioning that Lawrence has been shown to be drinking a magical looking and yellow liquid. Is this meant to be her medicine aimed at keeping her anxieties in check? Shit certainly seems to hit the fan in the final third in which she decides to stop taking it and we're treated to a montage episode featuring humanities shittiest moments. Or maybe she is mother nature after-all and this golden pick-me-up is simply meant to represent her reliance on the life giving power of the Sun. Or maybe it's just a laxative and the reason she can't enjoy her new house guests is because she's spending the entire movie trying her best to get a dump out. Both her and Bardem live completely apart from society and so like him you'd think she'd be dragging any old prick that happened to knock on the door in for a chat. Although maybe you'd like to ignore all of that and just see the movie as being a satire on when marriages decline. Or perhaps it's a piss take of the stereotypical man, simultaneously the breadwinner and also a lazy, moody fuck, feeding off the love of younger wife. Is Bardem's character really Aronofsky? A creative that presumably gets told he's a genius and therefore runs the risk of accidentally ignoring his much younger partner who in real life just happens to be.. Jennifer Lawrence.

At the end of the day, the entire movie is up for interpretation and whether you love or hate it, that's something that should surely be commended for a mainstream movie? I've seen two films this year to feature Javier Bardem with the other being Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge or Dead Men Tell No Tales depending on what you're local marketing department think you'd prefer. Neither Pirates or mother! Made much fucking sense to me, however I know which of them I'll be revisiting for years to come in an attempt to uncover all of its secrets. To give you a clue.. it's not the one in which Johnny Depp dresses up to pay for a divorce and attempts to rehabilitate himself back into our celebrity good-books. Opinions on mother! Have been mixed to say the least with some people considering it to be a “masterpiece” and others declaring it to be “the worst film of the century”. However it's worth pointing out that nobody has criticised the level of filmmaking with the real issue being the story, what it's really about, and their reaction to it. Love it or hate it and divisiveness aside though, is this not the kind of cinema we'd prefer to have? When the movie is over you'll have something to say about it one way or another which is more than can be said for the vast majority of other releases to hit the screen. I saw The Hitman's Bodyguard the other day and the only thing I wanted to say to the person I'd seen it with once the credits rolled was, “Let us never speak of this film again”. Thanks for reading motherfuckers and see you next time. 

No comments :

Post a Comment