Mothers’ Instinct Review: A Stylish Slow Burn That Fizzles Out

4 April 2024
mothers instinct movie posterAnne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain in Mothers’ Instinct (2024)
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Mothers' Instinct Review

Mothers’ Instinct lured me in with its impeccable 60s aesthetic. The vibrant colours and meticulously recreated sets perfectly captured the allure of suburban life in that era. The seemingly idyllic lives of housewives Alice (Jessica Chastain) and Celine (Anne Hathaway) held the promise of a deliciously twisted psychological thriller just waiting to erupt.

Both leading ladies deliver stellar performances. Chastain and Hathaway are utterly convincing as outwardly blissful mothers harbouring a complex undercurrent of tension. The young actors playing their sons are equally remarkable, with an authenticity that adds to the film’s sense of unease.

Unfortunately, the film’s momentum faltered in the middle act. The slow burn simmered too long, and despite the palpable tension, the repetitive conflicts between Alice and Celine began to feel tiresome. I found myself longing for an escalation of stakes or a deeper dive into their motivations.

Then, the twist! I was startled (perhaps I dozed off briefly) to find Celine taking a shockingly dark turn. The twist was well-executed but, sadly, I’d disengaged emotionally at that point, lessening its impact.

The stark shift from the sunny 60s facade into the exploration of grief and maternal desperation was undeniably unsettling. Yet, the “why” behind Celine’s choices remained frustratingly unclear. The film offered hints and possibilities but never fully provided satisfying answers.

Ultimately, Mothers’ Instinct feels like a missed opportunity. The retro aesthetic, initial promise, and brilliant performances from the entire cast are undeniable. However, the slow pacing and lack of clear character motivations diluted the potential impact. The film might appeal to those who prioritize style and atmosphere over a tightly woven narrative. However, if you’re craving a truly gripping psychological thriller with answers to match the twists, you might find yourself left wanting more.