RELIGIOUS THEMES IN “mother!” BY DARREN ARONOFSKY
Synopsis to begin: “Mother” and “Him” live in a secluded house in a bright field. Mother is trying to repair the house from the apparent fire that only Him survived. Him is a famous poet and has writer’s block for his new poem. Strangers, a married couple, bring disruption in their house as Him welcomes them in but Mother is unsure of them.
Ending: God has found disorder and evil in the world and must destroy it to try again. Mother/The Mother Church/Mary creates a fire that explodes “The Garden of Eden”, killing everyone, and Mother/The Mother Chruch/Mary allows God to remove her heart and crush it. The film then begins where we started as Mother wakes up, a new start for God to try and create a perfect utopia without wickedness and sin.
Plagues of Egypt
All 10 plagues are shown or mentioned in the film:
Water into blood///Frogs///Lice///Mixture of wild animals or flies///Diseased Livestock///Boils///Thunderstorm of hail///Locusts///Darkness for three days///and Death of firstborn
Mother (Mother Earth/Mother Church)
Jennifer Lawrence portrays “Mother”, allegedly Mary or the Mother Church. In Roman Catholicism, the Mother Church is also referred to as the Goddess Church, the term Javier Bardem’s character calls Lawrence’s character. The Blessed Virgin Mary and Mother both lose their first child, witness those around them kill their sons, and later witness those who killed their sons “eat” him. At the end of the film, Mother allows Him to take her heart as Mary is continuously compassionate as she is known in Scripture as “Mary, The Compassionate Mother”. Once Mother’s son is born, Him waits to present him to the crowds of people but Mother refuses to let go of the child, aka Jesus.Once Him takes the child away to show the crowds he is immediately praised and taken away by the crowd, signifying him leaving his Mother to preach to other crowds. After the child’s death, Mother is beaten by the crowd, showing her survive the sword of grief that Mary the Mother of Jesus survived after Jesus’s death.
Javier Bardem portrays “Him”, another word that is used to refer to God. It is noted that “Him” is a poet and people travel near and far to hear his word. Towards the end of the film, Kristen Wiig’s character refers to Jennifer Lawrence as the “inspiration” for the book, aka the Bible. In the end of the film, we see Bardem wipe out the population because his plan didn’t work. Bardem wants to “get it right” just as in the Bible, God sent a flood to wipe out the population because of their wickedness. In the film, Bardem explains he “must get ready for the apocalypse”, signifying the end of the population.
The House Heart
The heart of the house is shown becoming decrepit throughout the film and refers to the “Immaculate Heart of Mary” which is the interior life, as the heart in the film is inside the house, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, aka Mother.
Signifies Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent where ashes are spread onto believer’s foreheads.
This film is told entirely from Mother’s perspective, as in the Bible the only perspective on the creation of humans is God’s. In the Bible’s tradition, many men have the masculine nature to continue wiping things out and not allowing the wives or women to continue with their work as the males should be the main focus.
The Garden of Eden
God created The Garden of Eden to be a “paradise” in scripture as Mother states in a scene, “ I want to make it a Paradise.”
Cain and Abel
Domhnall and Brendan Gleeson allegedly play Cain and Abel. In Genesis 4, Cain is jealous of Abel and asks Abel to come to a “field” aka in the film the house located in the field. Cain then kills Abel with a stone which in the film is a doorknob.
Adam and Eve
Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer allegedly play Adam and Eve, the parents of Cain and Abel. Adam’s character appears first, as Adam was created first by God. Bardem’s character chooses to spend lots of time with him because this is his first creation. Eve’s character is extremely cunning, as she has been influenced by the cunning serpent in scripture aa she encourages Mother to sexualize herself to be more appealing to Him. Mother sees Adam and Eve having sex, beginning the spiral towards original sin and evil in the world.