Image: Paramount Pictures
All weekend, everywhere I look online, people are hollering about mother!, Aronofsky’s latest phantasmagoric film about a poet, a house, and his preternaturally long-suffering wife.
Now, Aronofsky himself has weighed in, offering his own interpretations on some key happenings in the film.
Talking to Entertainment Weekly, he specifically lays out his ideas regarding the film as a Biblical allegory. The popular theory about the film posits that the many characters who appear in the home of Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) and the Poet (Javier Bardem) throughout the film are depicted with rough Biblical analogues in mind, a theory that transforms the film into a sort of broad depiction of the toll mankind and its history has taken on the planet, here cast as a mother figure.
So says Aronofsky: Yup. Yeah, that’s pretty much it.
“I saw this allegory, one that I am passionate about, and it matched up perfectly,” he told EW. “Once I realised I could rely on the great stories of the Bible I thought it would be a very interesting marraige there — all these different streams that kind of weave together and become a river.”
He went on to describe the film by saying, “I would say every single beat and character is related to the Bible in order — all the way throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament.”
It’s not often that a creator so often endorses a particular reading of their film like this. I worry that doing so dampens discussion a little bit, centering the creator’s reading at the expense of anyone else’s ideas about the film. But, then again, he is the director.
There was one detail that Aronofsky was more cagey on, however. When asked about the yellow powder drink that the Mother drinks, he demured.
“Oh, no, this is the one I don’t love answering,” he said. “Let’s just say that it’s hearkening back to Victorian novels and the idea of a deeper connection for her and the house.” Intriguing.