Darren Aronofsky as a filmmaker loves to get extremely creative with his films and to provide the audience with something to talk about when leaving the theater. With this film he really gets to dive into some great themes that I think don’t get addressed enough in popular culture. The performances by Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem are fantastic. They sell the material that Aronofsky gives them and they capture the audience’s attention. The direction and pacing of the film was well crafted in that it was always moving and you never felt bored. Though the moving does help keep your tension levels high you never have a chance to rest to take a moment to take in what is happening on screen. There is so much kinetic energy.
I could tell this movie was filmed on film and it shows to make it more of a piece of art than a digital creation. The grainy quality and the look and cinematography really show a craftsmanship than a manufactured production. Since I can’t get much beyond this point without going into spoilers, this is my spoiler warning. I suggest that you take a few things away before going in but should go in clear without knowing everything in order to get the freshest experience possible. This is not a horror film. This is a film about a message that is clear and distinct from beginning to end. It tells us a journey that you have to go through each step to get the point across, even though some may think it is tedious I found it effective.
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The allegories of The Book of Genesis with Jennifer Lawrence playing Mother Nature and Javier Bardem playing God were so well thought out and executed throughout the film. The depiction of Adam and Eve with Ed Harris and Michelle Pfieffer were compelling characters that played into those biblical tropes that we are aware of in our society.
You give, and you give, and you give. It’s just never enough.
The way God treats Mother Nature and his relationship with humanity is very well explored. Especially the relationship people have with God and how they want to take apart of him with them and they want to use Earth as they please without any listening resulting in consequences. With the sink breaking representing the Great Flood in the Book of Genesis. The fighting two sons of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, representing the infighting humanity had over God’s words, the breaking of the glass heart representing God’s dismissal of Adam and Eve and committing sin.
How they made the film in another reality seem like it was in the real world with supernatural elements and the blend between that and the representation of the beginning of life was fantastic. Though it does portray humanity in a negative light there are some positive moments where it showed the kindness in humanity. Though they were making the point clear that humanity doesn’t consider what it is doing to Earth without thought is so true today. Humans just think everything belongs to them without any consequences. How they represent Earth as a living being with the heart beating was a great visual. Even how over the course of the film it slowly crumbled down to ash showing how humans are killing Earth.
The controversial discussion about Mother Nature giving birth to Jesus and him being killed by humanity and eaten as the body of Christ in such a literal way is a shocking image to see. I thought it was pretty striking and liked Aronofsky’s visuals when it came to that. The fighting in the house towards the end representing humanity’s struggle with itself and its relationship with God over the recent years was brilliantly told. As for how it ended like it began and how life is cyclical I thought was a pretty poignant note to end on. Though that life can repeat itself it never is the exact same on each beginning and end its course is distinct throughout. With a different woman in each cycle and it not being Jennifer Lawrence each time I thought was a strong decision to make than it being just her to show that it is not always the same when it appears to be the same path.
Yes, this film is very divisive with calling it either the worst movie ever or a masterpiece, I definitely think this film is worthy of watching to form your own opinion to begin the discussion about our relationship with Earth, Religion, and God.