Movie Review – I Am Mother

TL;DR – This is a movie that is contemplative, tension, and fascinating as all get, a must watch for any fan of the science fiction genre.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

I Am Mother. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Motherhood is a concept that does not get as much exploration in the science fiction world. Yes, of course, there is the waring mothers of Aliens, but they tend to be the exception rather than the rule. So when you see a science fiction post-apocalyptical film titled I Am Mother, you immediately sit up and take notice and thankfully the final product is such an amazing work of film.

So to set the scene, at some point in the future humanity finally did it, we went and killed ourselves off in an extinction level event. Thankfully, some people saw this coming and hid a facility away in the mountains filled with embryos in stasis and a backup carer if no one could make it. With that Mother (Rose Byrne & Luke Hawker) is activated and sets the process going for the first new human birth, even as the bunker shakes with the last throes of the conflict. Many years later and Daughter (Clara Rugaard) has grown up, living her life under the care of Mother. However, one day something bangs against the airlock and everything she knew gets thrown into chaos.

I Am Mother. Image Credit: Netflix.
Clara Rugaard is truly phenomenal in a film where so much is on her shoulders. Image Credit: Netflix.

Without a doubt, I have to give so much credit to Clara Rugaard for what is an amazing performance. So much of the film’s emotional core is placed on her shoulders, she is both the driver of the narrative and also the audience’s surrogate in this world, and that is a lot to carry. She goes through so many emotions in this film, and she nails each and every one, this brings you into the world and the conflict in a way that would not have been there otherwise. Rose Byrne & Luke Hawker likewise have the job of creating and bringing to life Mother. Once again this is a difficult job, because you have to be caring, sympathetic, but also feel like you are hiding something and could be a threat at any moment. Also, Hilary Swank is perfectly positioned to be that element of chaos that the story needs. Because there are so few characters in this film it means that every one that is in it has to work, and oh wow does it.

This leads us to the production design, which is another stand out in the film. Because this film is clearly working on a smaller budget than a lot of other science fiction films, it has to use its money where it counts. This is helped by most of the film being set in a couple of set locations, so you can spend your money making those few sets look absolutely amazing. While it is a different design style, I found elements of design language used in Fallout which really helped sell the ‘something is not quite right’ feeling going on. This, of course, is reinforced with the design of Mother, and frankly, I didn’t need to wait to the credits to know that this came from Weta Studios because there is a quality to the design that you rarely find elsewhere. Mother has to be both equal parts caring and dangerous, and that is such a difficult balance to pull off, but they did. If I had to be picky did everything work, no, there are some wide shots that don’t quite hold up. But I have seen some films recently with monumentally higher budgets not pull it off as well as this, so kudos to all of the visual effects artists.

I Am Mother. Image Credit: Netflix.
Rose Byrne and Luke Hawker along with Weta Studios bring Mother to life. Image Credit: Netflix.

While the acting and production design bring you into this world, it is the story that pulls you through it and it is best if you go into this blind so there are some [SPOILERS] ahead so if you have not seen the film you may want to jump to the next paragraph. I really liked how it developed a sense of unease throughout the film, with you never quite knowing who to believe because everyone is lying about something. I’ve read that some people noticed the big moment coming, but I was not one of them, and it hit me hard. There is tension, oh is there ever tension. It does get a little overhanded with the ethical underpinning at times, but I really liked its interplay as to what a good mother is and how should the rest of humanity act. I think the best film to compare it to would be 10 Cloverfield Lane, and given how much I like 10CL it should give you a good indication about how good this story is. Indeed, it is a story that does not stop revealing itself until the very last frame.

In the end, do we recommend I Am Mother? Absolutely. It has a strong cast, beautiful production design, fantastic musical score, and a story that grabs you and does not let you go until the very last second. I have a feeling that a lot of the cast and crew are going to be in high demand as this film makes waves through the industry and they earned it.

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched I Am Mother?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
 


Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of I Am Mother
Directed by
– Grant Sputore
Story by – Grant Sputore & Michael Lloyd Green
Screenplay by – Michael Lloyd Green
Music by – Dan Luscombe & Antony Partos
Cinematography by – Steve Annis
Edited by – Sean Lahiff
Production/Distribution Companies – Penguin Empire, Southern Light Films, Mister Smith Entertainment, Endeavor Content, Screen Australia, South Australian Film Corporation, Screenwest, Studio Canal & Netflix
Starring
– Clara Rugaard, Rose Byrne, Hilary Swank, Luke Hawker, Hazel Sandery, SummerLenton, Tahlia Sturzaker & Jacob Nolan     

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