Jennifer Lawrence is known for playing the roles of strong, smart protagonists on-screen which leave heady impressions on audiences and win her accolades by the armful. In fact, when it was known that she would star in the psychological thriller Mother! (2017), there was much speculation about how well she could portray the role of the titular character.
She portrayed it all right, and how. Lawrence’s role as Mother in the movie could be termed as heart-breaking, awe-inspiring, visually stunning, or all of them. The actor did confess recently that the role was one of her most taxing, and it is likely that she would never do such a role again.
Mother! saw one of Jennifer Lawrence’s most harrowing performances
Darren Aronofsky’s psychological horror thriller Mother! actually works with a wonderful allegorical representation. The titular character, Mother, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is said to represent Mother Nature, or perhaps, Mother Earth. Mother’s husband invites a stranger, and later his wife, to stay the night at their house, in spite of Mother’s noted aversion to the idea of the strangers in her home.
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Mother is represented by Lawrence as an initially kind and benevolent character, who allows the strangers into the beloved home she has helped create but is soon reduced to a frantic woman who is only a shell of her previous bountiful self as the strangers keep invading the privacy of her home perversely. More strangers pile into her home, related to the original man and his wife, and the rowdy behavior exhibited by them mounts to such an extent that a murder is committed right in Mother’s home. Much to her horror, they insist on having a funeral right there in her home, and she receives no support from her husband in trying to dissuade the passive invasion of her home.
The final act of the movie was extremely taxing on Jennifer Lawrence
The stranger’s wife’s overt sexuality, depicted by Michelle Pfeiffer, and the subsequent damage caused to Mother’s home by the rest of the stranger’s family and others, all keep adding to the stress Mother is feeling. She does not break down even when the poet’s room, which she had said was strictly off-limits, was invaded by the strangers. She played a mute witness to the desecration of her life and property, all of which she had built so carefully, by absolute strangers, because her husband wished it so.
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The final act of the movie ultimately breaks Mother, when she has to give birth to her child all alone, with her house overrun with strangers. Her horror knows no limits when her husband passes the child through among the strangers, leading to a horrifying death. Lawrence recounts the scene as the most jarring, and the most taxing she has ever had to face.
“It was the scene where I woke up to a surprise, and ran downstairs…that was the worst feeling I’ve ever had in my life. It was awful, and I don’t know if I would ever do such a movie again,” Lawrence said.
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Apparently, when her character breaks down screaming and crying, as her only possession left in the world, her newborn, is taken away from her, Jennifer Lawrence had torn her diaphragm. The final act was brutal on the eyes and had a lot of mixed reactions drawn to it. The countless allegories that were associated with Mother’s role and Nature fit in perfectly, however, and Mother! does remain one of the best movies one could see if they have the stomach for it.