Let me give you a synopsis of Darren Aronofsky’s newest film “mother!”
A mediocre, self-obsessed man who thinks he’s the only person who’s ever suffered is having a hard time writing poetry, so he abuses his inexplicably devoted, beautiful wife he doesn’t deserve who loves him unconditionally for some reason. Includes lots of shaky camera work and being punched in the face with pretentious biblical allegories.
Don’t go see it. Don’t go see another film that abuses a woman to further the story of a man.
We deserve better than this. It’s not groundbreaking to have a beautiful young women figuratively and literally beaten to shit onscreen under the guise of some allegorical biblical tale about environmentalism and mindless worship of God and whatever else Darren Aronofsky tells you in interviews. It’s all bullshit.
I’m a huge fan of Darren Aronofsky’s work most of the time, because he was willing to go where a lot of directors wouldn’t back in the day. I maintain that “Requiem for a Dream” is one of the scariest films ever made, but “mother!” is something different entirely. And it doesn’t respect that the world has changed since Aronofsky first came to prominence as a director.
It’s been said a million times over, but we live in a very different world today than we did even a year ago. Trump’s America is vastly more dangerous to live in as a woman than Obama’s or Bush’s or Clinton’s.
Nearly 5 million women are victims of intimate partner violence every year. Eighty-five percent of domestic abuse victims are women. Our commander-in-chief openly bragged about his ability to sexually assault any woman he wanted, and people still voted for him.
Now explain to me how having a young, beautiful woman in an abusive relationship with an older man being beaten and having her clothes torn off by a mob before having her heart literally ripped out of her chest by the man she loves unconditionally (for some fucking reason) is groundbreaking. I don’t care that Jennifer Lawrence is supposed to be a metaphor for how we’re treating our planet; that’s not good enough. It’s not new for us to see women being mistreated and killed by manipulative men onscreen. The imagery is tired and damaging, because for so many women, it’s reality.
Darren Aronofsky is a smart, talented guy. And he can do better than this. I believe he could have found a different way to make his statement without murdering an innocent woman onscreen. Don’t give this gross display of unnecessary violence a pass because it’s being billed as an art film when in actuality, it’s the same tired narrative we’ve seen over and over. It’s bad enough that in 2017 so many survivors had to watch an abuser receive an Academy award for yet another story about a mediocre man being sad that he fucked up his own life and the life of the woman who loved him.
We deserve better.