Most films head into their final month before opening with photos, teasers, and trailers having already been given out, but Darren Aronofsky’s mother! is opposite. The movie comes out next month, and still we hardly know anything except for the cast (Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Harris) and a one-sentence story description: “A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.”
Over the past month, it’s turned out clear that mother! is Aronofsky’s most reticent movie to existence. Paramount hasn’t released a single image, nor have they even confirmed which characters the actors are portraying. The studio suspiciously announced the release date from October to September just last month, most seemingly to avoid the chance of spoilers leaking out during the movie’s festival run at Venice and TIFF and its box-office release.
The official trailer is set to establish on August 8, but you shouldn’t expect anything to be revealed. All that has been shown is a 30-second teaser, two character posters, one of Jennifer Lawrence and other of Javier Bardem. If you look at all three, the only thing that seems clear is that Aronofsky is going back to his horror roots, but if you pay real close attention you’ll see that the minimal marketing has been a lot crazier than you think.
Both character posters are filled with mini hidden easter eggs. Forget Lawrence holding her own heart in her hands and you’ll realize hiding in the grass a small picture frame with what seems to be Bardem’s character, and a jewelry box inside one of the flower petals. Bardem’s poster shows screaming faces in the fiery flames and the picture of a baby inside the orb he’s holding.
All of these easter eggs are hidden and will likely be clearer once the film is released, but the one hidden detail shared by both posters might be the most intriguing. Each has a lock with an image on it that appears extremely similar to the symbol for Pisces. The zodiac symbol for Pisces is two fishes, and the message of what this easter egg could mean begins to tease something ambitious about mother!
The legend of Pisces is about the story of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, and her son, Eros. Depending on which legend, the two either turned into fishes or were saved by two fishes after Typhon, the most dangerous monster in Greek mythology, descended on Mount Olympus seeking destruction. mother! seemingly isn’t going to be a retelling of the Pisces myth, but it can’t be coincident that one poster has Lawrence (a goddess of beauty) and the later a baby (Eros). The “uninvited guests” who “disturb” the character seem a lot like Typhon, too.
Pisces can also imply the astrological age, which began 1 AD and will end 2150 AD. Because this age involves the birth of Christ, many symbols in Christianity use the picture of fishes to represent Jesus. Aronofsky has always been obsessed with Biblical themes – they’ve appeared in everything from “Pi” to “Noah” – and it now seems very sure that mother! will be no difference. The Pisces lock could imply that mother! will be Aronofsky’s most iconic Biblical film to date.
Lawrence’s poster does seem very Garden of Eden-influenced, while Bardem’s is obviously representing hell. Perhaps mother! is Aronofsky’s Biblical illustration of creation of good and evil, Christ and the antichrist. The Pisces easter egg appears to the be the closest the film’s marketing has come to show some of the cards Aronofsky is holding close to his chest. It’s safe to guess he has something mythological and Biblical up his sleeve with this project, but peculiarly what is still a mystery.
In addition, Collider discovered one interesting easter egg in the most unexpected place. The movie’s Instagram account shared a part of Bardem’s poster with some audio where his character screams, “All I wanted to do was bring life into this house!” The monologue and the loud background noise loop three times.
Things get crazier when you regard the audio as a spectrogram, which visually shows the spectrum of the sound’s frequencies. Collider analyzed Bardem’s line and the background noise with a pro audio tool and the resulting spectrogram was insanely petrifying.
The sound creates pictures of what seem like Bardem’s face, which is horrifying. We have no clue what this could possibly say about the movie, but the fact that Bardem’s character is “living” inside the film’s audio hints that he is far more mythical and powerful than just Lawrence’s husband. Perhaps mother! is Aronofsky’s recreation on “Rosemary’s Baby,” with Bardem and all the visitors attempting to force Lawrence to give birth to the devil.