In this section of our Colossus Movie Guide for Mother!, we will explain the film’s ending.
- Jennifer Lawrence – Mother
- Javier Bardem – Him
- Ed Harris – Man
- Michelle Pfeiffer – Woman
- Brian Gleeson – Younger Brother
- Domhnall Gleeson – Oldest Son
- Jovan Adepo – Cupbearer
- Emily Hampshire – Fool
- Chris Gartin – Adulterer
- Stephen McHattie – Zealot
- Kristen Wiig – Herald
- Amanda Warren – Healer
- Laurence Leboeuf – Maiden
- Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse – Foremother
- Darren Aronofsky – Writer and director
The end of Mother! explained
The chaos in the house intensifies as more and more followers of Him arrive, worshiping him and his newly written poem. They begin to take over every inch of the home, turning it into a war zone of sorts. Mother pleads with Him to make them leave, but he basks in the adoration, unwilling to turn them away.
Amid the pandemonium, Mother goes into labor, and she and Him take refuge in his study. After a painful and intense delivery, Mother gives birth to a baby boy. Him wants to show their son to his followers, but Mother refuses, fearing for the baby’s safety. She is distrustful of the crowd and their intentions. For a brief period, the couple remains in the study, with Him waiting patiently for Mother to fall asleep so he can take the baby to his followers.
Eventually, Mother succumbs to exhaustion and falls asleep. Him seizes the opportunity and takes their newborn son to present him to the worshipful crowd. When Mother wakes up and realizes what has happened, she desperately tries to retrieve her child. The baby is passed around the frenzied mob, and in a horrifying turn of events, they accidentally kill the infant, breaking his neck.
Overwhelmed by grief and rage, Mother watches in horror as the crowd mutilates and devours the baby’s body in a gruesome and sacrificial ritual. She violently lashes out at the crowd, but they turn on her, savagely beating and assaulting her. In the midst of this brutal attack, Him intervenes and rescues Mother from the mob. Her fury turns to the house itself, which has been destroyed by the chaos of the followers. In a final act of revenge, she locates a lighter and ignites the fuel-filled furnace in the basement, causing a massive explosion that engulfs the house in flames.
As the house burns, Him emerges unscathed, carrying a badly burned and near-death Mother in his arms. He explains to her that he is a creator who needs her love to fuel his creations, and that their home was a manifestation of that love. He then asks her for one more thing—her heart. Mother, resigned to her fate, grants his request, and Him reaches into her chest, pulling out her heart. Her lifeless body disintegrates into ashes, and as he crushes the heart in his hand, a crystal object emerges—the same crystal object that appeared at the beginning of the film.
The house, now in ruins, begins to regenerate as if rewinding time. A new day dawns, and the house is restored to its original state. A new woman wakes up in the same bed where Mother had once slept, and the cycle begins anew. The film concludes with the implication that this cycle of creation and destruction will continue, perpetuated by Him and his insatiable need for adoration and inspiration.
The ending of the movie Mother! is perhaps one of the most controversial and polarizing aspects of the film. As the final act unfolds, the story reaches a climax of violence and annihilation, culminating in a surreal and allegorical sequence that leaves many viewers scratching their heads. To fully understand the deeper meaning of the ending, it is necessary to examine the prominent themes that the movie explores and the specific moments that lead up to its shocking conclusion.
Throughout the film, Aronofsky uses religious allegory to explore themes of creation, carnage, and human nature. The character of Mother represents the embodiment of Mother Earth, while the character of Him represents God or a divine creator. The arrival of Man and Woman in their home mirrors the biblical story of Adam and Eve, with the forbidden fruit taking the form of a crystal object that Him treasures.
As the film progresses, the allegory becomes increasingly explicit. The character of Him writes a book that becomes a religious scripture, and his followers soon flock to their home to worship Him as a divine figure. This worshipful adoration ultimately leads to the extermination of Mother and her home, reflecting the destructive nature of human ego and ambition.
In the final act of the film, Him’s followers become increasingly violent and fanatical, turning on each other and causing chaos. As Mother goes into labor, Him takes their newborn child and presents it to his followers, who proceed to mutilate and devour the baby in a sacrificial ritual. This sequence is a direct reference to the story of Jesus Christ, with the followers symbolizing the apostles and the baby representing the body and blood of Christ.
The ending of the film is the most explicit in its religious allegory. As the house is destroyed and Mother is consumed by flames, Him recreates the world in a burst of light and energy. The new world is populated by a new Mother, played by a different actress, symbolizing the cycle of creation and destruction that is inherent in religious mythology.
Alongside its religious allegory, Mother! also explores themes of environmentalism and human impact on the planet. The character of Mother represents the Earth, and the eradication of her home reflects the damage caused by human consumption and exploitation. The arrival of Man and Woman is a direct representation of human interference in the natural world, and their actions lead to the eventual collapse of the entire ecosystem.
Throughout the film, Mother’s efforts to preserve her home and maintain a sense of order are repeatedly thwarted by the calamitous actions of Man and Woman and all their friends. These actions include smoking in the house, breaking a sink, and even digging up the floorboards in search of the crystal object that represents the forbidden fruit.
In the final act of the film, the environmental allegory becomes even more explicit. As the chaos reaches its peak, Mother’s home begins to disintegrate, and the walls and floors become covered in blood and debris. This sequence is a direct commentary on the impact of human industry and consumption on the natural world, highlighting the destructive power of human greed and ambition.
The ending of Mother! is a surreal and allegorical sequence that leaves many viewers confused and frustrated. As the house is destroyed and Mother is consumed by flames, Him creates a new world in a burst of light and energy. The new world is populated by a new Mother.
The ending can be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on one’s perspective. Some viewers see it as a message of hope, with the implication that even in the face of disaster, new life can emerge. Others see it as a bleak and nihilistic commentary on the repetitive nature of human folly and our inability to learn from our past mistakes.
One interpretation is that the ending suggests the inevitability of humanity’s ruinous cycle. Despite Mother’s efforts to maintain a sense of order and harmony, human nature and ambition ultimately lead to disorder and extinction. The new world created at the end of the film implies that this cycle is destined to repeat itself, with humans continuing to exploit and damage the Earth until its inevitable collapse.
Another interpretation is that the ending serves as a cautionary tale, urging viewers to recognize their responsibility in preserving the Earth and breaking the cycle of destruction. By presenting a vivid and horrifying portrait of environmental devastation, the film encourages audiences to take action in their own lives to prevent a similar fate from befalling our world.
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