Movies like Mother! are a mirror, so your interpretation reflects you. The couple living in the house represented two facets of one person, an artist. She represented the desire to protect what was created, maintaining the elation that comes with creating art, but he represented the desire to share the creation with other people. All artists, to varying degrees, roam around in their subconscious and when you share something from there other people are invited to roam around in your subconscious, too.
This was represented by a pair of metaphors, the house, in the first half of the movie, and adding the baby in the second. To varying degrees, the other people who showed up at the house respected the owners’ wishes, but they roamed around anyway. They entered rooms they weren’t supposed to enter. They broke shit. Because they felt like the house was theirs too, because it was. A writing teacher once told our class, once something’s published it’s not yours anymore. She meant it’s not just yours anymore.
I’ve grown more like the woman character in the movie. I tend to hold onto pieces ready for submission because I want them just mine a little longer. It’s unfair to the story, but once something’s been rejected, even if I start by sending it to a top tier magazine, it doesn’t feel like just mine anymore. It feels like someone came into my house and roamed around and broke shit. Rejection isn’t the only way to feel like someone’s been in your house roaming around, though. A story published gets read but it also gets not read by many more. A bestseller gets one-star reviews on Amazon. Only art put away in a drawer or attic and never mentioned gets to belong solely to the artist. I don’t want my baby forever swaddled against my breast just breathing and staring into my eyes. That’s a nice feeling but it fades. You have to find a way to merge these two characters, to put your work out there but maintain at least some of the elation from creating something, even if people think it isn’t good, or if people think it’s derivative (of course it is, everything is derivative), or if people decide it was something other than what you think it is or what you wanted them to think it is.
The reason I thought the movie was good but not great is not because the two halves didn’t work together but because they both had the same thing to say. The second half was bonkers, which was cool, but I wanted another level, not just a more extreme version of the same level. A friend told me the director said the movie was actually about climate change. Cool, I see that, now, but I didn’t while I was watching it. I got invested in my own metaphor. I was invited into the writer/director’s subconscious and I roamed around. I broke shit. I’m allowed.