Categories Film Review

Review, Mothers’ Instinct (2024)

Our talented stars, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain, play the roles of mothers in the latest psychological thriller directed by Benoît Delhomme. In ‘Mother’s Instinct’, they share great chemistry as best friends and housewives. The story unfolds warmly and beautifully until a tragic event affects one of them.

The story began with the harmonious lives of Celine (Anne Hathaway) and Alice (Jessica Chastain), who were best friends and mothers. While Celine picked up the kids from school, Alice prepared a birthday surprise party for her. It shows their beautiful and peaceful relationship before everything goes unexpectedly worse.

Not only are the mothers best friends, but their sons also attend the same school and are best friends. Alice’s son, named Theo (Eamon O’Connell), and Celine’s son, Max (Baylen D. Bielitz), have a close relationship with each other, as harmonious as their mothers’.

One day, Alice saw Max standing on the balcony railing to put up a birdhouse. Alice was worried and screamed aloud, telling Max he shouldn’t be there. She ran into Celine’s house, where Celine was just vacuuming the floor. In the end, Max fell. Shocked, Celine screamed loudly and ran to Max, seeing that he was covered in blood.

Anne Hathaway as Celine. Courtesy by Marie Claire.

Since that tragedy entered their lives, everything has suddenly changed—becoming suspicious, traumatic, and tragic. Celine faces the trauma of the tragedy, and it changes her life forever. She becomes lonely, feels guilty, and worst of all, transforms into someone evil. 

In her solitude, Celine becomes friends with Theo. Their relationship grows intimate and inseparable as they support each other since Max left them. This shows that Celine relies on Theo, and Theo willingly helps Celine recover from her grief. On the other hand, Alice becomes increasingly worried and suspicious of Celine because Theo always has time to visit Celine’s house. Especially when Celine allows Theo to play on the balcony where Max fell, Alice becomes very angry and worried about her son.

The story’s plot is fast-paced, with the characters facing the main conflict in a carefully crafted sequence. This film makes the audience confused about Celine’s actual goals when she attempts to build a good relationship with Theo. In this part, Celine’s character is quite perplexing. She starts manipulating, which adds an intriguing layer to the movie.

The tension in the film is very intense and captivating. The audience is invited to feel thrilled and to unravel the secrets behind all the murders. It is unexpected when Celine is the one behind all these murders, but the plot twist is actually easy to understand. The tragedy that has happened to Celine’s family changes Celine’s character completely. She becomes complex and dark after initially being innocent and naive. When the finale of the story appears, audiences feel both surprised and pleased with the well-made narrative. This movie does not leave any plot holes, and the story connects very clearly.

The death of her son triggers her actions towards others. Her regret, disappointment, and pain seem to ease when she has another son. The only way she chooses is to take Theo from her own best friend, Alice. Celine’s actions are completely messed up; she tries everything she can to get her own happiness back, especially through murder. She does not hesitate to murder anyone who limits her relationship with Theo. This shows how her character changes significantly into an evil mother’s figure.

While the character of Alice shows great development, the conflict becomes more engaging even though the plot is predictable. The audience is drawn into Alice’s emotions. Her character helps the audience feel increasingly thrilled minute by minute. Her facial expressions lead the audience to suspect Celine as the one who murders everyone. This conflict also changes their relationship, causing them to become strangers to each other.

Courtesy by Digital Spy
Jessica Chastain as Alice. Courtesy by Digital Spy.

Psychologically, the story’s execution is not strong enough. The conversation between actresses fails to search deeply into the psychological complexities. As a result, the film relies heavily on the actresses’ abilities to carry the emotional weight of the story, which they do effectively, but it doesn’t create the overall impact of the film to a memorable level.

This film definitely needs more improvement and further research to succeed as a psychological thriller. Choosing talented actresses was the best decision the film made. In contrast, the visuals and cinematography are beautifully executed. It highlights the importance of the characters’ facial expressions and emotions to the story. They also portray a gentle and serene atmosphere, capturing the maternal instincts of the mothers. 

In addition, the intense music also helps to create a thrilling atmosphere. Even though this film is not scary enough to be a psychological thriller, the music they chose helps to build the atmosphere.

One of the most captivating aspects of the film is the choice of costumes. Both Celine and Alice wear beautiful dresses and have stunning hairstyles. They are perfectly dressed throughout the film. In conclusion, this film remains an amateur attempt at a psychological thriller that still requires significant improvement, but shows how beautiful thriller films can be made.

Our Score: 6,5/10

Title: Mothers’ Instinct
Production: Freckle Films Mosaic
Director: Benoît Delhomme
Screenwriters: Sarah Conradt
Casts: Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Anders Danielsen Lie, Josh Charles, Eamon O’Connell, Baylen D. Bielitz

Petricia Putri Marricy
IG: @mricyls

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2 days ago

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