Killing Eve

Killing Eve Trailer

Rating: 5/5

“You should never tell a psychopath they’re a psychopath. It upsets them.”

Villanelle – a cold hearted and ruthless assassin.

Eve – the MI5 operative tasked with tracking her down.

As the cat and mouse game begins, a mutual obsession between the two women develops.

One that might cost them their lives…

Killing Eve stars Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer as the characters of Eve and Villanelle, both playing their parts to perfection. As the initially boring and bumbling Eve, Oh is world’s away from her spiky character Dr Cristina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy and has proved she made the right decision to move on from the long running hit US drama. Here she displays a naïvety and innocence that is slowly shed as she comes to grips with her new world away from her desk bound job as she moves out into the field. Having become known for her role in Doctor Foster, Jodie Comer stars in a break out role as the chilling yet slightly eccentric Villanelle. Despite committing a string of truly appalling acts, Comer plays the part with such a delightful wickedness and relish that you can’t help rooting for her. The dark and often tongue-in-cheek humour ensures that Killing Eve is a spy drama like no other.

Killing Eve finished airing on BBC One on Saturday night and, in a clever move, the BBC made the show immediately available on iplayer from the very first episode’s screening. The show has proved to be a huge hit and has previously aired in the US to similar success. The show created history when Sandra Oh became the first Asian actress to be nominated for an Emmy in a leading role performance and the show has been praised for featuring two female actresses in the lead roles. With such a female driven cast, Killing Eve stands out from other action focused dramas and is one of the best shows of the year.

Did you watch Killing Eve? If so, did you watch it live each week or binge watch the whole series on iplayer? Have you read the original book series?

Killing Eve BBC Three Trailer

The Cry

The Cry Trailer

Rating:5/5

[Spoiler Free Review]

“Two faces, two Joannas.”

The Cry stars Jenna Coleman as new mother Joanna, who steps out into a media frenzy in the show’s opening scene. The question of why remains a mystery as the story gradually unfolds through its four episode arc. The first episode weaves through a whirl of multiple timelines, which is often jarring due to its lack of chronology, but is a clever narrative device used to gain a wider insight into the development of the relationship between Joanna and her partner Alistair.

As the story unfolds through each episode, the circumstances surrounding Joanna are gradually revealed with more questions being raised as to what led to these events. Twists and turns are played out to shocking degrees, often with excruciating cliffhangers. With Joanna herself alluding to two sides of her personality in the opening episode, the viewer is kept guessing as to Joanna’s motives and all is not as it seems…

The Cry concluded on Sunday night in a gripping fashion and was full of shocks as the truth behind the story’s events were revealed. The show delivered a fantastic performance from Jenna Coleman, who initially had reservations about the role due to not being a mother herself. However she proved to be the perfect person for the part, displaying a fragile vulnerability as well as a mix of coldness, a sense of detachment from her surroundings and a complex range of emotions. The show must be praised for highlighting the difficulties and pressures of being a new mother and the scrutiny and judgement that they can face, painfully portrayed in a relatable airplane scene that everyone will have experienced to some degree, regardless of being a parent. The show also highlighted the intrusive nature of the press and the impact of media scrutiny and the online world on people’s lives and how destructive those outlets can be, at a time when excessive information can lead to a lack of impartiality.

The Cry is based on the novel by Helen Fitzgerald, which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. The book has now shot up the book charts as a result of the success of the show. While The Cry had the difficult task of replacing the phenomenally successful Bodyguard in the prime time Sunday night slot on BBC One, it proved to be another must see drama that gripped viewers in the U.K. yet again!

Did you watch The Cry? Did you guess all the twists and turns? Have you read the original novel?

A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born Trailer

Rating: 5/5

With Clint Eastwood previously attached to direct and Beyoncé set to star, the latest adaptation of A Star Is Born has been stuck in development hell for a number of years. After another setback, leading man Bradley Cooper took the helm as director, with Lady Gaga confirmed in the female leading role, and the film finally went into production.

A Star Is Born is a modern update of its previous incarnations and tells the story of waitress and aspiring singer Ally, whose path crosses with country music star Jackson Maine. As Jackson takes her under his wing, the two fall in love and soon Ally’s star is on the rise. But with Ally’s career flourishing and Jackson’s on the wane, his addictions and jealousy threaten to derail their relationship. Can love save them or will Jackson’s destructive behaviour tear them apart?

A Star Is Born is an incredible film that is in turns hilarious, shocking and heartbreaking, mainly due to the raw and immersive performances from Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Cooper is almost unrecognisable as alcoholic Jackson and Lady Gaga is a revelation as rising star Ally. The chemistry between the two is electric and their portrayal of the romance between the unlikely pairing is so convincing and honest. In what are career-defining roles, the authenticity between the pair can be attributed to both stars co-writing much of the soundtrack, with the film clearly a labour of love from all involved. Cooper especially must be commended for his directorial debut and his co-writing of the script, which offers an emotional punch that is sure to leave even the most cynical viewer reeling.

The film offers a sharp and acute insight into the music industry, a world where women are often moulded to a certain image, with the story exploring the conflict of retaining an artist’s integrity over commercial success. The musical element of the story is enhanced by live vocal performances from Cooper and Gaga, who insisted on avoiding lip-synched performances. The film contains fantastic visual set pieces that include performances at festivals such as Glastonbury and Coachella, as well as during Lady Gaga’s Joanne tour at The Tour Stop in Los Angeles, California on August 9th 2017.

As well as being a compelling love story, A Star Is Born highlights the tragic effects of addiction and mental health and explores whether love can ever be enough to save someone. It is a heart-breaking story that is painfully real yet also beautiful to watch, due to such incredible performances from Cooper and Gaga.

A Star Is Born is sure to sweep the board during film awards season in the months to come and its success will certainly be justified. The film is garnering glowing reviews and, with a fantastic soundtrack, it’s a strong contender for one of my favourite films this year.

Bodyguard

Bodyguard Trailer

5/5

[Review contains spoilers!]

After a slightly more subdued Episode 5, Bodyguard returned last night with an explosive finale as DS David Budd found himself being set up in the worst possible way. Forced to walk the streets of London in a suicide vest, he did everything he possibly could to prove his innocence in a tense and gripping extended 75 minute episode. The nail biting scenes were an example of British drama at its best and demonstrated just why over 11 million people tuned in live to watch the shocking events unfold. The figure is predicted to rise to over 13 million viewers once catch up viewing has been taken into consideration and the programme is now the most watched show on any British channel since 2011 and the most watched BBC drama since 2008.

With such dramatic moments taking precedent in the final episode, the frenetic pace continued in its aftermath as most of the unanswered questions were resolved by the closing titles. The programme had red herrings galore throughout its six episodes, with the biggest one of all being where David Budd’s loyalty was really placed. The complex character proved to be the true hero of the story as he sought out the real culprits behind Julia Montague’s assassination. Sadly, it appeared that the Home Secretary really was dead after all and the biggest twists were instead revealed to be that the inside man was actually an inside woman in the shape of DS Budd’s boss Chief Superintendent Lorraine Craddock and the seemingly naive Nadia was a jihadi responsible for making all the bombs.

The adrenaline fuelled and heart racing pace of Bodyguard has gripped the nation in the U.K., ever since its incredible 20 minute pre-credits sequence in its first episode. The programme has proved that the water cooler moment and event tv is back with a bang, with Bodyguard theories being the hot topic of conversation up and down the country. With the programme being such an incredible hit, writer Jed Mercurio has hinted that the series will continue. In the meantime, the Bodyguard creator will be working on the fifth series of Line of Duty, which viewers were treated to a glimpse of after the credits of Bodyguard rolled last night. The anticipation is building!

Were you among the many watching the final last night?

The Girl Who Smiled Beads – Clemantine Wamariya & Elizabeth Weil

Rating: 5/5

Genocide – The deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group.

“The word genocide cannot tell you, cannot make you feel, the way I felt in Rwanda.

“The word genocide cannot articulate the one-person experience – the real experience of each of the millions it purports to describe.

“The word genocide cannot explain the never-ending pain, even if you live.

“The word genocide cannot help the civilians.

“The word genocide is clinical, overly general, bloodless, and dehumanising.”

What is described as the Rwandan genocide began on April 7th 1994 and lasted for 100 days after Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and President Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi were killed when their plane was shot down over the country’s capital Kigali on April 6th. An estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed during this short period as extremist Hutus slaughtered about 70% of the minority Tutsi population, as well as thousands of Hutu moderates opposed to the killings.

The ethnic tensions between the Hutus and Tutsis can be traced back to the arrival of Belgian colonists in 1916, who issued identity cards to classify people according to their ethnicity, with the Belgians considering the Tutsis to be superior to the Hutus. Although the Belgians would eventually concede power and grant Rwanda independence in 1962, the ethnic divide would remain, with the majority Hutus taking the place of the Belgians.

“Colonisation is built on the idea that we are not the same, that we don’t possess equal humanity.”

The mass killings in Rwanda finally ended when the Tutsi-controlled Rwandan Patriotic Front led by Paul Kagame seized control of the country. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has sentenced more than 60 people for their involvement and nearly 2,000,000 people have stood before Rwandan community court. A humanitarian crisis occurred as a result of the war, with an estimated 2,000,000 displaced Rwandans becoming refugees.

“The war had no logic, no direction, no discernible objective, no face. It was everything, everywhere, all at once, and it stood for nothing at all.”

The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil is Wamariya’s memoir about surviving the Rwandan genocide and describes how she and her older sister spent six years travelling through seven African countries to find safety, before being granted refugee status in the US. The book captures the horrific effects of war, as well as its traumatic aftermath. Wamariya describes the barbaric behaviour of the extremists and the appalling conditions that people were forced to endure. As starvation and desperation became a way of life, the book highlights how easy it became for children and adults to be manipulated and depraved.

“You had to try to hang on to your name, though nobody cared about your name. You had to try to stay a person. You had to try not to become invisible. If you let go and fell back into the chaos you were gone, just a number in a unit, which also was a number. If you died, no one knew. If you got lost, no one knew. If you gave up and disintegrated inside, no one knew.”

As well as being a painful account of being a refugee, Wamariya is frankly honest about her feelings towards her family, particularly her sister and mother. The book opens with Clemantine and her sister being reunited with their family on The Oprah Winfrey Show and depicts the reality when the fairy tale moment on television is over. She and her family don’t have a happy-ever-after ending and instead her family are flown back to Rwanda just days later. A slow process then begins to get their family back to the US to live as immigrants before the family try to adapt and find a way to integrate into each other’s lives again.

The Girl Who Smiled Beads is a terrifying and horrific account of one of the greatest war crimes against humanity. It is a book about identity, survival and hope. It is a powerful read with an important message about equality and it is one that I will never forget.

“Survival, true survival of the body and soul, requires creativity, freedom of thought, collaboration…We need each other. We need to say: I honour the things that you respect and I value the things you cherish. I am not better than you. You are not better than me. Nobody is better than anybody else. Nobody is who you think they are at first glance. We need to see beyond the projections we cast onto each other. Each of us is so much grander, more nuanced, and more extraordinary than anybody thinks, including ourselves.”

After being granted asylum in the US, Clemantine went on to receive a BA in Comparative Literature from Yale University and became the youngest ever person to serve on the United States Holocaust Museum’s Memorial Council, appointed by President Barack Obama. Now thirty, she is a member of the Board of Directors at Women for Women International and is an experienced speaker, storyteller and human rights advocate.

How Saints Die – Carmen Marcus

“If you take life from the sea you offer your own life in exchange. She can take you. Any time she wants. She’ll call you to her and you’ll go like it’s home and not struggle.”

How Saints Die tells the story of ten year old Ellie, who lives with her fisherman father on the wild North Yorkshire coast. It is the 1980s, a time that means her mother’s breakdown is only discussed in whispers. As Ellie is guided by her father’s sea-myths, her mother’s memories of home across the water and her own fierce spirit, Ellie begins to learn who she is and what she can become. Soon her innocence has been shed, but at a great cost…

“Books had rescued me long before this moment but this was the first time I’d ever been prescribed one. So it was inevitable really that the way to finally understand that moment – that break where my childhood ended so abruptly – would involve a book.” – Carmen Marcus

Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize, How Saints Die is a book about mental illness, childhood friendship and the bonds between family. It is a book that resonated deeply with me for personal reasons. While the circumstances were completely different, the parallel of being that age during that time with a single father household was uncanny. I found myself empathising and identifying with Ellie, who was viewed as odd and an outsider, and becomes thrust into a world of adult responsibilities. Feeling so connected with the story and the central character completely elevated the book for me, particularly after reading the personal note from author Carmen Marcus at the end of the book.

“In reality, a child is powerless to change anything; decisions are made without consent, questions are met with silence and yet none of this insulates the child from the trauma. As with my own childhood, and now as a writer, it’s imagination that saves and compensates for Ellie’s inability to understand or control the adult world. In the real world, Ellie is suffocated by diagnostic labels like ‘damaged’ or ‘at risk’ and trapped by the official story recommending ‘intervention’. Imagination is Ellie’s only form of resistance and so I’ve made a world out-of-bounds where she can run with her own story.” – Carmen Marcus

I was recently part of a book tour for How Saints Die and I’m so grateful to Vintage Books for including me in the tour, as it’s a book that I may never have gotten to read otherwise. It’s a book that has lingered on my mind and will continue to stay with me. Carmen Marcus has a beautiful style of writing and really captures the character of Ellie in such a way that is both heart wrenching and immersive. The book has an ethereal magical element within the story and is evocative of classic fairy tales. It is a fantastic debut from Carmen Marcus and a unique book that tackles difficult topics, as well as being a compelling and haunting story.

Have you ever connected with a book, character or film in such a personal way?

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 – Episode 1: June

 

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Trailer

Rating: 5/5

“Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum”

In a world where fertility is rapidly declining, Offred is offered only one option by the new Republic of Gilead: to breed. If she refuses, the consequences are death or a sentencing to the radioactive Colonies. Serving as a handmaid for her Commander and his wife, her main function is to provide the childless couple with a baby. Soon, Offred is complicit in illicit meetings engineered by the Commander, while harbouring a mutual desire for one of his Guardians, who may be an Eye or a source of salvation. With such a precarious position, the value of her life is always a distant threat…

Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel was published in 1985 and is a terrifying concept that is not all that unbelievable. Having studied the novel as part of a Margaret Atwood module at university, I have to admit that originally I couldn’t quite grasp the concepts of her books and so my enjoyment and understanding of her stories were limited. However, after rereading The Handmaid’s Tale, I am happy to say that I completely loved it! Perhaps as we grow older, we also grow as readers. Do you agree?

My reread of The Handmaid’s Tale was in anticipation of seeing Margaret Atwood at the Hay Festival at the end of the month and also the return of the second series of the book’s tv adaptation on Channel 4 on Sunday night. What a return it was! Season 2 opened with a harrowing sequence, played out with added poignancy to Kate Bush’s This Woman’s Work and moved me to tears before the opening credits had even aired. The sheer brutality continued throughout the episode and, for me, makes quite a statement on the horrifying attacks that continue to occur against women all over the world. Sometimes extreme scenes are necessary as a wake up call to make people sit up and take notice or shock people into taking positive action. The violence and degradation depicted towards the handmaids  made me think about so many events going on in the world, such as the barbaric act of female genital mutilation, which has previously been depicted in Season 1.

In this dystopian world where women are merely seen as vessels and need their husband’s signature to acquire contraception, the timing of the show’s return feels eerie with the referendum in Ireland taking place this week. Other scenes in the show highlighted the difficulties and judgements that working mothers face, a challenge that men are never expected to experience.

Season 2 is now working from new source material, with Atwood acting as a consultant on the show. This new and unknown direction will allow for even more scope and development of secondary characters and has the ability to highlight even more topical issues. With women’s rights remaining at the forefront of so many causes and campaigns, Season 2 is proving to be as compelling and relevant as ever.

Did you watch the return of The Handmaid’s Tale on Sunday night? If so, what did you think?

Native Son & Black Boy – Richard Wright

Native Son: 4/5

Black Boy: 5/5

Richard Wright’s Native Son was published on March 1st, 1940 and was the first novel by a black author to be chosen for the Book-of-the-Month Club. It sold an incredible quarter of a million copies in its first three weeks and within five months it had sold half a million copies. The novel tells the story of Bigger Thomas, who lives in one rat-infested room with his family on the south side of Chicago. What unfolds is a series of horrifying events after a desperate act.

“He shut their voices out of his mind. He hated his family because he knew they were suffering and that he was powerless to help them. He knew that the moment he allowed himself to feel to its fullness how they lived, the shame and misery of their lives, he would be swept out of himself with fear and despair. So he held towards them an attitude of iron reserve; he lived with them, but behind a wall, a curtain. And toward himself he was even more exacting. He knew that the moment he allowed what his life meant to enter fully into his consciousness, he would either kill himself or someone else. So he denied himself and acted tough.”

Black Boy was published in 1945 and is Richard Wright’s own account of growing up in the Deep South of America. Born near Natchez, Mississippi, in 1908, Wright lived in Memphis, Tennessee as a child before living in an orphanage and then lived with various relatives. In Black Boy, Wright details a life of moving from home to home and, by the age of twelve, he had received only one year of formal education. Hunger and poverty dominated his life, as well as white subjugation and fear. His dream of justice and opportunity in the north became his focus as he learned to survive in his hostile environment.

“But what strange world was this? I concluded the book with the terrible conviction that I had somehow overlooked something terribly important in life. I had once tried to write, had once revelled in feeling, had let my crude imagination roam, but the impulse to dream had been slowly beaten out of me by experience. Now it surged up again and I hungered for books, new ways of looking and seeing. It was not a matter of believing or disbelieving what I read, but of feeling something new, of being affected by something that made the look of the world different.”

I was lent these books by a work friend and it really is essential that they are read together. In hindsight, I wish I had read Black Boy first as it provides more of an insight into the character of Bigger Thomas. For me, Bigger was a character lacking empathy and demonstrated sociopathic traits. However, reading Black Boy offers an in-depth glimpse into Bigger’s psyche and Wright’s painfully honest account of his own life is quite an indictment of society in America during that period. I loved the energy and flow of Wright’s writing, which made for compelling and immersive reading.

Wright’s turbulent home life influences and shapes much of his writing and after leaving home at fifteen, he worked in Memphis for two years before moving on to Chicago. In 1935, he began to work on the Federal Writers’ Project and in 1938, he published Uncle Tom’s Cabin. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the following year. Other titles include The Outsider, The Long Dream and American Hunger. After the publication of Black Boy, Wright left the United States with his wife and visited France as official guests of the French government. They returned to France in 1947 and lived there with their three daughters, with Wright remaining there until his death in 1960.

I was alarmed recently to hear a comment from someone who dismissed autobiographies, implying that they are egotistical and self-indulgent. While I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion, I couldn’t disagree more. Real life accounts can teach us so much about the world, human nature and important moments in history. These books were shocking, provocative and uncomfortable to read, but they were completely gripping and absorbing. I am so glad that I received the opportunity to read these books and they are certainly two that I will never forget.

Have you read these books and did you enjoy them? What is your opinion on autobiographies? Do you think they are important or do you believe they are self-serving? I would love to know your thoughts!

The Greatest Showman

Rating

5/5

The Greatest Showman is the first musical of the year and is inspired by the incredible true story of showman Phineas ‘P.T.’ Barnum, who created the Barnum & Bailey Circus in the 19th century. Barnum became infamous for his hoaxes and human curiosities, while also known for being ahead of his time. Hugh Jackman plays the titular character and the supporting cast includes Michelle Williams as his devoted wife and Zac Efron as his business partner.

The story explores Barnum’s inception of his museum of attractions to a backdrop of musical numbers. With Jackman already proving his musical credentials with an Oscar nominated performance in the most recent adaptation of Les Miserables, here he demonstrates his dance capabilities in a variety of musical sequences. Jackman’s infectious enthusiasm radiates from the screen and he is perfectly cast in the role of the visionary Barnum.

Zac Efron is another musical veteran after turns in the High School Musical franchise and Hairspray. Efron has delved mainly into comedic roles in recent years and his return to the musical genre has been a rewarding choice. Michelle Williams proves to be adept at the musical numbers, as well as providing an ethereal presence on the screen. Having achieved stardom in Dawson’s Creek, Williams has gone on to be a versatile and credible actress, with four Academy Award nominations at the mere age of 37. Zendaya is another seasoned dance performer who provides a supporting role in the film and a love interest for Efron’s character.

“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”

Within the film’s frothy musical exterior lies a story of injustice regarding the mistreatment of others. The issues of class and race are explored in the film, with Barnum’s group of misfits being viewed with suspicion by many of the untrusting public. The love story between Efron and Zendaya’s characters is used to highlight the issue of race and mixed raced relationships as the pair try to hide their feelings for each other as well as from the world around them. Despite the periodic setting, the topic remains as relevant and current as ever in today’s world of political and racial turmoil.

The film’s central theme is a message of inclusion and embracing and celebrating uniqueness, which is demonstrated in the superb musical number This is Me. The feel good factor and the positive message of the film is capturing the hearts of moviegoers, with the film continuing to defy expectations since its release in December last year by growing in success week after week. Much of the film’s appeal can be attributed to its ability to relate to anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.

“The noblest art is that of making others happy.”

The film itself was years in the making, with Jackman fearing at one point that it would never reach the big screen. The story had been his dream project since 2009, yet film studios were reluctant to take a financial risk on an original musical. Jackson’s fears looked set to be amplified as the film was poorly received by critics on its debut release. However, The Greatest Showman has proved to be one of the biggest hits of 2018 already and is currently the number one film in the UK, despite being released on Boxing Day last year. Its soundtrack has been just as successful and has been the number one album in the UK for the last five weeks and the aforementioned This is Me is sitting at number six in the singles charts.

Much of the film’s box office success is certainly due to the fantastic musical sequences in the film, which are impossible not to toe-tap along to, with the urge to get up and dance along proving difficult to resist! Other notable numbers include The Greatest Show, Rewrite the Stars and The Other Side, the latter being viewed by many as a secret metaphor for coming out. Much of the film’s soundtrack has a contemporary R&B/pop/hip hop style, contrasting with its 19th century setting. This was a deliberate move by the filmmakers to emphasise Barnum’s innovative and revolutionary ideas. A sing-along version of the film is due for release on February 23rd, which will no doubt see a resurgence for the film, particularly with the Academy Awards around the corner on March 4th. High hopes for Oscar winning success will be pinned on This is Me, which is nominated for Best Original Song, and is the film’s only Oscar nomination.

“When the sharpest words wanna cut me down

Gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out

This is brave, this is bruised, this is who I’m meant to be

This is me.”

Overall, The Greatest Showman is a visually dazzling film that deserves repeated viewing. If in need of a cheerful and charming film, then a cinema trip to see The Greatest Showman is sure to brighten up anyone’s day!

mother!

mother! Trailer

 ***Minor Spoilers***

 Rating: 4/5

mother! is the latest film from Darren Aronofsky, whose previous work includes the Oscar winning Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream. It stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a couple whose home is described as “paradise”. Lawrence plays the role of the dutiful young bride eager to please her significantly older husband and spends her days renovating their house, while Bardem’s character looks for inspiration for his next piece of poetry. The film opens with a foreboding tone that fails to be dispelled, particularly when their apparent idyllic lifestyle is interrupted by some unwanted visitors.

Michelle Pfeiffer makes a welcome return to the screen in her role as the wife of the first visitor, played by Ed Harris. Pfeiffer appears to be having a career renaissance this year with a part in the adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express still ahead in a few months time. In mother!, she plays her character with menacing relish, particularly when she quizzes her hosts on their family plans. When the sons of the invading couple arrive, events take a sinister twist and all is not what it seems…

To say any more about the plot of the film would be a disservice to the unassuming viewer, as the less known about mother! the better. The revelations that unfold during the course of the movie are what makes the film so compelling and divisive. With Lawrence herself describing the film as a “love/hate” type of movie, it’s not difficult to understand what she means after viewing the film. Despite the premise of the movie appearing to be a psychological thriller or horror, the final act takes an unexpected turn before a truly shocking climax that will render many viewers speechless.

The subtext in the film may be lost on some viewers, yet is a clever Biblical allegory that will be analysed for many years to come. Aronofsky delivers a visually stunning piece of cinema that serves as a metaphor for events that shape our world today and poses many questions about society and humanity. His bold vision will have many viewers questioning everything that they have just watched, yet for others the pieces all fall into place during the final reel. The director provides hints and clues throughout the film, with its subtle layers gradually being revealed through the eyes of Lawrence’s character. As the story is portrayed from Lawrence’s perspective, the viewer is often given the sense of the possibility of an unreliable narrator. It is only by paying close attention and observing every detail that the viewer will be able to unlock the true mystery within the movie. Every line is delivered with meaning, which is only fully realised upon watching the complete film. The significance of each nuance demands repeated viewings of this film for further study.

In a time of reboots, sequels and series, it is refreshing to see such a unique piece of cinema. mother! is not be a film that everyone will enjoy, yet will make for so many topical discussions and debates for the unforeseeable future. Aronofsky succeeds in creating a story that makes the viewer think and consider their own actions, demonstrating the immense power of cinema.

Have you seen mother!? Did you love it or hate it? I’d love to discuss the film further, so please do get in touch!