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Blu-ray Review: mother! – “I’m still not entirely sure if I liked it”

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It’s been days since I watched Darren Aronofsky’s mother! and I’m still not entirely sure if I liked it. The film dances along the line between genius and ridiculousness so much that it’s hard to come out with a clear reaction.

The central concept here is certainly one that’s worth exploring. It’s clever and worthy of debate and study. (I just can’t tell you what it is because it’d ruin the surprise.) The film itself is never dull. It’s intriguing and bizarre enough to keep you engrossed – if hugely confused – throughout.

Visually, too, the film is very impressive. The long lingering shots and intimate close-ups are beautifully done and the claustrophobic nature of the house has a real horror feel to it. Unfortunately, there is just so much male gaze in this film that despite the brilliant concept behind it you’re basically just staring at Jennifer Lawrence for a couple of hours. And despite her very best efforts, all she does is clean and paint and tidy up the mess left behind by Javier Bardem. Oh, and tell people to leave – not that it does her much good.

The descent from real into surreal only confuses matters because it makes no sense that Lawrence’s character would just go along with the rubbish thrown her way. You just spend much of the film wondering why she’s putting up with this nonsense.

mother! had phenomenal potential to become a real commentary both on the world in which we live and the way we live our lives. The premise is brilliant and the assembled cast members – including Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris – bring real gravitas to their enigmatic and elusive characters.

Sadly, though, the vision is too narrow. I just can’t help but think that in the hands of a more balanced team it could have been executed not just with the visual beauty this film possesses but also with the depth of character and clarity it so desperately needed.

mother! Blu-ray Combo Pack

The mother! Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English Dolby Atmos (Dolby® TrueHD compatible), French 5.1 Dolby Digital®, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The DVD in the combo pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The combo pack includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film as well as the following:

Blu-ray

  • Feature film in high definition
  • Bonus Content:
    • mother! The Downward Spiral
    • The Makeup FX of mother!

DVD

  • Feature film in standard definition

mother! 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack

Fans can enjoy the ultimate viewing experience with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, which includes the Blu-ray Disc detailed above, as well as an Ultra HD Disc presented in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision and English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD compatible), French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description with English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The Combo Pack also includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film.

mother! Single-Disc DVD

The DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The disc includes the feature film in standard definition.

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