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Old 09-25-2017, 12:29 AM   #35824
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Apr 2009
Out there...past them trees...

Originally Posted by DjMethod View Post
Is it convoluted though? Or is it less convoluted to combine the two?
Holy cow, you brought up a lot of excellent points that might make me change my mind.

I dug the theme of respecting nature/Earth, but I didn't consider that it would be the basis for reinterpreting Biblical events. Maybe I was getting too hung up on the symbolic roles.

Some of the interactions
[Show spoiler]between Him, mother, and the baby threw me off--I could understand mother not wanting to give up the baby out of love and maternal instinct, and I could follow Him wanting to hold the baby because it's his, but I initially didn't see it syncing with the Virgin Mary. But the parallels you brought up are good details I forgot about at first. I suppose instead of being one distinct symbol, J-Law's role is blurred across multiple interpretations of the term mother, and that's how art should be.

Originally Posted by DjMethod View Post
You bring up a good point about the film missing
[Show spoiler]the resurrection, Satan, etc. But did it feel incomplete to you? I think the message was clear. What would Satan have added? He chose the story of the Bible to elucidate our lack of respect for all that God has created for us. If he intended to include Satan, I think it would have appeared in the form of temptation way back before Eve shattered the crystal. The frog was, I believe, made to represent evil- as it is seen hopping out of the basement (hell). And the bleeding hole in the floor... while I am still uncertain as to what it represents, I interpreted it as the stain made by Man on Mother Earth since the Fall of Man (its origin is from the blood from Abel's death, and resides right near where the crystal [or apple] was displayed). In this vein, it can also represent sin, or shame, as J Law repeatedly tries to hide it from God. It could have also been a pit or portal to hell or the underworld. It glows firey red at one point and then drips into the basement, and it is in the room where the "apple" was kept- which was offered to Eve from the devil himself.
I suppose the movie didn't need those other aspects in it to work. I do kinda wonder if they could have reinforced the symbolism though.

I wasn't sure if the basement really meant hell or not, but the more I think about it the more sense it makes. I did find it interesting that
[Show spoiler]oil becomes the means in which total destruction happens. You have a lot of great points in this paragraph, I can dig them.

Originally Posted by DjMethod View Post
If you are referring to the intermittent episodes
[Show spoiler]of pain that she has, I am also unsure and still waiting for my second viewing in hopes of better understanding that. Are they her earthquakes and storms? They seem to be brought about by stressful events.
It hit me:
[Show spoiler]mother nature was still getting in tune and was out of balance, until she found union with God.

Originally Posted by DjMethod View Post
[Show spoiler]Another possibility is a sort of McGuffin or red herring, meant only to occupy the audience or mislead us into thinking she is mentally unhealthy.
Yep, I can see that. As these episodes happened, I kept thinking back on Black Swan and was expecting more fooling around with the audience.

Originally Posted by DjMethod View Post
[Show spoiler]My preferred theory is that it is a symbol of purity. And that consuming it somehow brings her back to baseline. In the Bible, the color yellow is associated with fire, which in turn, has always been associated with the purification process. It has similarly been thought to represent trials of faith, and in the film, the potion may end-cap each time she is put through a trial in her own house. The act of consuming it may be an act of resistance, which can be interpreted as Mother Nature being at odds with her Creator and represents her taking efforts to restore balance to Earth (e.g. the great flood, the ice age, the asteroid that is thought to have led to the extinction of dinosaurs).

I think I would have to watch the film a second time to observe the timing of when she drinks it, when gives up the drink, etc. Is it just as she gets pregnant that she gives up the potion?
That could be. I can't remember if
[Show spoiler]she dumps the stuff after making love or after waking up and announcing she's pregnant. Either way, it's right when she knows it.

Originally Posted by DjMethod View Post
I see what you did there was unintentional.

Originally Posted by DjMethod View Post
Re: the communication-
[Show spoiler]the allegorical theme IMO explains their age difference and distant dynamic, which was uncomfortable at first, but then quickly becomes apparent it is deliberate and not due to lack of acting chemistry. Overall I really think they both get lost in their roles. Javier Bardem was such a perfect choice for the role of Him
, and J Law really delivers a gut-wrenching performance too.
I agree, and I can appreciate how the casting choice accentuates the overall picture. I didn't even question the age gap, it just worked for me.

What I was thinking was that maybe Him should have directly controlled mother, giving her orders and such. But now that I think about it, it's probably Aronofsky's view that God creates nature than leaves her alone, which is what happens in the movie and explains why the two seem to act on their own accord.

Originally Posted by DjMethod View Post
I think sexism exists on a spectrum of perception shaped by the individual. By J Law's standards, the film involving a traditional wife confined by her husband was already a role she said she never grew comfortable with even by the end of production, but was more than okay with after learning the director's vision.
Didn't think of that. I think I just figured the two had mutual respect, and mother worked out of her own love and motivations without being directed or controlled by Him. But maybe the submission is implicit, especially if it's an unspoken rule of the film (and this is one of those films that has its own rules).

Originally Posted by DjMethod View Post
If you want to see a strong and deeply thematic film about Man and Nature, I highly recommend The Red Turtle.
Well, I did see that one and it was interesting. Wasn't a fan of the pacing though.
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DjMethod (09-25-2017)