CSU reacts: Is the movie “Mother!” artsy or just weird?

Nate Day

Jennifer Lawrence in the film, “Mother!” (Niko Tavernise/Paramount Pictures)

Every once in a while, a movie comes to fruition and causes a stir at the theater. Sometimes, it’s a big blockbuster like “Avatar” that becomes the highest grossing film of all time, and other times, it’s smaller movie like “La La Land” that goes on to collect a handful of major awards and massive critical appeal. Whatever the magical formula is that draws viewers to the box office, Darron Aronofsky’s “Mother!” is the most recent entry to that list of showstoppers.

The film revolves around a couple (Academy Award-winners Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem) in their middle-of-nowhere home. Lawrence’s character spends her days fixing up the old house, while Bardem’s character struggles to create poetry. When they’re visited by identity-less guests, things start to go awry, and then quickly descend into maddening chaos. The film also stars Academy Award-nominees Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer and Domhnall Gleeson, and a surprisingly violent cameo from “Saturday Night Live” alum, Kirsten Wiig.

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Not exactly a horror flick, but certainly not family friendly, “Mother!” has received praise, but average moviegoers are less than impressed with what it had to offer.

“That movie pissed me off so much,” said Lindsay Lae, a junior studying human development and family studies. “It gave me anxiety because it explains anxiety.”

Lae also explained that her maternal instincts made it almost impossible to watch, as she spends a great deal of time studying child development and certain plot points result in the ill-treatment of a young child.

But she’s not alone in disliking the film. According to Rotten Tomatoes, only 45% of people liked the film, compared to the 87% of people that said they liked Andy Muschietti’s “It.” The New York Times even published an article on reader reactions to the film. In it, people are quoted saying things like “dumbest movie ever,” and “this movie gave me a stomachache.”

Because of the film’s wild and seemingly directionless plot, viewers are left wondering what exactly happened in the film, leaving them to speculate what it means. The Atlantic references that it could be about the trouble of maintaining a relationship in the public eye—something that real-life couple Jennifer Lawrence and Darron Aronofsky would know something about. Other’s have assumed that the play is a commentary on climate change, with Lawrence representing the ever-giving planet Earth.

However, in an interview with IndieWire, Aronofsky explained that it’s actually an allegory for The Bible. Lawrence does, in fact, represent Mother Nature, with Bardem playing God, Harris playing Adam, Pfeiffer playing Eve and so on.

However, it seemed that a great deal of the biblical references went over students’ heads.

“I had no idea that it was even biblical,” said Lena Ham, a senior studying journalism and media communications. “I only learned that after my friend told me when the movie finished, and that’s when things clicked.”

Ham also noted that “Mother!” “is the opposite of a relaxing movie,” and that she’d probably never watch it again. However, some students are banking on another viewing.

“I think I would see it again just to better understand those biblical references,” said Valeria Loera, a senior in the Health and Exercise Science department. “But I don’t think I’d recommend it to a friend.”

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Loera’s review came about due to the fact that she found the film perplexing and even slightly irritating.

“I was confused didn’t really understand why the things happening were happening,” said Loera. “And I was a little frustrated just because the people would not stop (being destructive). I was just like ‘what is wrong with all of you!’”

Loera wasn’t the only one that thought the film was less than thrilling.

“I was slightly traumatized from some of the scenes,” said Krista Thaxton, a senior studying liberal arts. “But I did think the criticisms of Christianity were very prominent.”

While the plot of “Mother!” may be extremely confusing, one thing is certain, and that is that CSU students aren’t too fond of the film.

Collegian reporter Nate Day can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @NateMDay.