In this section of our Colossus Movie Guide for Mother!, we answer questions you have about the movie. If you’re curious about plot explanations, meanings, themes, lessons, motifs, symbols, or just confused by something, ask and we’ll do our best to answer.
- 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
Mother! | Questions and Answers
Who are the characters in Mother! supposed to represent?
In Mother!, the characters represent various allegorical figures. Mother symbolizes Mother Earth or Gaia, while Him represents God or the divine creator. The characters of Man and Woman are allusions to Adam and Eve from the Bible. Aronofsky confirmed these character interpretations in a Reddit AMA.
Why did the baby die in Mother!?
The death of the baby in Mother! symbolizes the vulnerability of the artist’s creation when exposed to the public. In the film, the frenzied crowd consumes the baby, highlighting the destructive nature of fame and the vulnerability of creative works in the public domain. The scene can also be seen as a commentary on the way humanity treats the Earth and its resources.
Why is the film called Mother! with an exclamation mark?
The exclamation mark in the title Mother! conveys a sense of urgency and intensity, reflecting the film’s chaotic and emotionally charged atmosphere. It adds an element of surprise and shock to the title, hinting at the unsettling and provocative nature of the movie. The title itself highlights the importance of the protagonist, Mother, and her role as both the film’s central character and a symbolic representation of Mother Earth.
What does the house represent?
The house in Mother! represents the Earth itself, with Mother, serving as an embodiment of Mother Earth or Gaia. Throughout the film, Mother’s efforts to maintain and protect her home mirror the struggles of the Earth to preserve its balance and harmony in the face of human intervention. The house’s destruction towards the end of the film symbolizes the devastation that humanity can inflict upon the Earth. Darren Aronofsky discusses the connection between Mother and the house in this interview.
What does the crystal symbolize?
The crystal in Mother! is a representation of the divine creative spark or inspiration, and it is also symbolic of life and the cycle of creation, destruction, and rebirth. In the film, Him cherishes the crystal and uses it to bring life to the house (Earth) and create his poems. The crystal is shattered when Man and Woman, allegorical figures for Adam and Eve, enter the forbidden room, which parallels the biblical story of the fall of man. At the end of the film, after the house is destroyed, Him extracts a new crystal from the ashes of Mother, indicating the beginning of a new cycle of creation. The crystal’s role in the cyclical nature of the film is further discussed by Aronofsky in this interview.
What is the yellow powder?
The yellow powder in Mother! is never explicitly explained, but it can be interpreted as a metaphor for Mother’s dependence on external support or as a representation of human reliance on substances for coping or healing. In the film, Mother dissolves the yellow powder in water and drinks it to alleviate her anxiety and distress caused by the events occurring in the house. This act can also be seen as a commentary on the use of medication or substances to numb emotional pain. Since Mother represents Mother Earth, we can think of this liquid as an ethereal substance that serves a purpose beyond our understanding.
What is the heart inside the walls?
The pulsating heart inside the walls of the house symbolizes the living essence of the Earth, with the house representing the planet itself. As a representation of Mother Earth, Mother character is intrinsically connected to the house, and the heart serves as a visual manifestation of this bond. The gradual decay of the heart throughout the film mirrors the deterioration of the house and reflects the mounting chaos and destruction caused by human interference.
What do the intruders represent?
The intruders in Mother! represent humanity and its various facets, such as selfishness, greed, and destructive tendencies. As the film progresses, more and more uninvited guests arrive at the house, causing chaos, damaging the home, and disregarding Mother’s pleas for respect and order. These intruders can be seen as an allegory for the way humans exploit the Earth and its resources, often with little regard for the consequences of their actions.
What does the bloody hole in the ground represent?
The bloody hole in the ground symbolizes the violence and destruction that humanity is capable of inflicting upon the Earth. It appears after one of the intruders (Cain) kills his brother (Abel) in an act of rage, an event that mirrors the biblical story of Cain and Abel, the first murder in human history. The hole serves as a reminder of the dark side of human nature and the potential for violence and devastation that humans can bring to the world.
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