It doesn't matter if you liked the trailer or not, "mother!" is so unlike a regular movie that a regular review couldn't do it justice.
In fact, I wouldn't even know how to write one about it. So I don't, and try to jot down my most direct thoughts indeed.
What is "mother!" exactly, you probably ask while watching writer-director Darren Aronofsky's latest. Is it just an artsy (horror) movie? A political movie (some notice and center on its alleged pro-environment, anti-patriarchy or anti-immigrants message, for example)? A spiritual movie (biblical or otherwise)?
Based on the comments by the man himself, which I have read online, I get the feeling that it can be any and all of them, depending on what you are prepared to see.
But first and foremost it sure is artsy, so be prepared for 121 minute chaotic joyride which may look and feel like horror but is more about experience than belonging to a genre, or, indeed, telling clear coherent story.
Aronofsky's works are usually difficult to summarize, and "mother!" continues the tradition.
I happen to think that "mother!" is best understood and appreciated as a story of act of creation, be it in the shape of biblical allegory or human being's spiritual awakening (two versions of the same thing if you ask me).
In social dancing, there's a saying that woman is the picture and the man is the frame. It's probably due to my background as a social dancer, but "mother!" worked for me using that lens exactly.
I saw that act of creation needs both, frame and picture (content). Both are important and can't exist without each other, both are in some ways necessary to tear down the old and bring in the new. And both can be good or bad, depending on our viewpoint.
If, for some reason, you can't quite appreciate "mother!" as spiritual or artsy movie, there's also other angles to consider, at least for movie lovers. Aronofsky's latest echoes of different genres, directors and works.
For example, I was reminded of Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman" and "The Revenant", for how the camera is almost always up close and personal, in your face. Or "Tree of Life" for general feeling and approach to storytelling. Or some southern gothic stuff, even Sofia Coppola's "The Beguiled". Or even Michael Haneke's "Funny Games", for setup and how it begins to evolve.
But beyond all the comparisions one can come up with, it's fresh and original work on its own.
The long last chapter - I will call it the creation section - is especially outlandish and defying easy descriptions, for both what happens on screen and how it's directed. It's so chaotic, always changing and yet majestically orchestrated that I just can't find words. Everything is in motion, everything is shattered. It's cool.
I liked the actors too. Lawrence is in her top form, as somebody living through a personal nightmare, plus camera almost always up close and personal. Bardem stays on the background, he's cool but not among the most interesting players here.
Then there are intriguing turns from Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer, a long-lost American sweetheart from 1980-90's. We also see Domhnall Gleeson, Brian Gleeson, Kristen Wiig...
I like the comment of this one critic that "mother!" is easy to respect and hard to like, but I managed to do both.
It's too difficult to recommend, but do Aronofsky's movie need recommending at all? Based on his earlier works, you already know whether you are intrigued to see it or not.