Niki Caro Holds Reins Tight in The Mother
“The Mother [starring Jennifer Lopez] is a mutha of an intimately scaled action film, a violent female-centric drama about a hardened combat veteran who has great difficulty adapting to being anything other than a tough soldier, and that includes being a mother. Joining Kathryn Bigelow, Patty Jenkins, Gina Prince-Blythewood, Mimi Leder and the Wachowski siblings among women responsible for notable action features, [Wellington-born] director Niki Caro (Whale Rider, Mulan) has delivered a film that could easily have veered into sentiment at any moment but instead remains tough as nails and doesn’t go soft at the end,” Deadline critic Todd McCarthy writes.
“Lopez and Caro seem very much in sync as they relate the sprawling tale in a disciplined manner that maintains interest and curiosity, if not high levels of downright excitement,” McCarthy writes in his review. “The filmmakers avoid cheap thrills and gratuitous violence that, in other hands, might have made this story possibly more popular with viewers. But Caro holds the reins tight and has keenly told a peculiar story that will likely stick in the mind.”
Original article by Todd McCarthy, Deadline, May 12, 2023.