Mommy is a film about a widowed single mother who raises her violent ADHD son alone and finds new hope when a mysterious neighbour makes her way into their household.
Mommy is certainly a film about extraordinary things happening to ordinary people. Scenes may be small and everyday but what it has to say is deeper then what it may seem on the surface. It explores our quest for “freedom” and what it truly means. It’s about this and also about love and family. Every single scene is full of emotion and the audience clearly feels it.
It is so filled with emotions sometimes that its hard to remember the extremes the film goes to. You feel, at least I did, so emotionally crushed by closing image that its hard to even think how you would even laugh at the beginning of the film. You’re put through the wringer and all that is left by the end is our heartbreak for a quest that could never be. It’s definitely a roller coaster ride of emotion and it does it well.
Each of the characters feel like real people and you certainly don’t feel the two and a half hour running time. You’re enraptured by the world that nothing outside of it matters any more. And when the film ends, you feel like they’ve been snatched away from you. You want to go in for more, despite the bleak setting. A huge commendation for the actors who conveyed so much without anything in need of being said.
The only thing that I annoyed me was of what happened to the law suit and the $250,000 in damages to the boy affected by the fire in the canteen. The 4:3 (”square screen”) aspect ratio was also annoying at first but you hardly notice it as the story swept in with brilliant performances and took you away into their world. This is another film that proves that you don’t need big budgets, extravagant locations, an excess of characters to tell a compelling story.
The screen does open up to a glorious 16:9 (the widescreen that we’re so used to seeing) as the characters exclaim their freedom and we see the three leads experiencing freedom but only briefly. The film returns to its square state and us the audience realise how the aspect ration works as a visual representation of how the characters are so trapped. The only time that the screen really opens up again is towards the end of the film where Diana, the “mummy” of the film, dreams of what her son could experience in the future but never does. By this point, I was crying my eyes out and so was the rest of the audience.
If you have the chance to go and see this film, do it. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it earlier. It’s a breath of fresh air amongst today’s cinema and definitely in my top three films as of today.