The Mother: Netflix Action Drama Not a True Story

Netflix’s ‘The Mother’ is an action drama film directed by Niki Caro and tells the story of a highly skilled but retired female assassin who flees from a group of dangerous assailants. However, when her estranged daughter’s life comes under threat, the assassin, known simply as “The Mother,’ emerges from hiding to take down those who intend to harm her daughter. The fast-paced action film features plenty of violent and bone-crushing action sequences that entertain the viewers. However, the heartfelt depiction of a mother’s desire to protect her daughter forms the narrative’s emotional core, leading viewers to wonder whether ‘The Mother’ is inspired by a true story.

The Inspiration Behind The Mother

No, ‘The Mother’ is not based on a true story. It is based on an original story conceptualized by screenwriter and producer Misha Green, who carved a name for herself by working as a writer on shows such as ‘Sons of Anarchy‘ and ‘Spartacus.’ She is best known for serving as the co-creator of the period drama series ‘Underground’ and showrunner of the horror series ‘Lovecraft Country.’ Green wrote the screenplay for ‘The Mother’ as a speculative script purchased by Netflix in 2017 and worked with writers Andrea Berloff (‘The Kitchen’) and Peter Craig (‘The Batman‘) for the final screenplay draft used for the film.

‘The Mother’ is an action-thriller film that has a mother-daughter relationship at its core. The film’s primary idea explores a mother’s desire and will to protect her child against overwhelming odds and grave threats. In an interview with Reuters, actress Jennifer Lopez, who plays the titular character in the film, spoke about the story’s central theme. “How she would do anything to protect her child. I also think … there’s an underlying theme of what it is to be a mother and what the idea of the perfect mom is and how that really doesn’t exist,” she said.

Similarly, director Niki Caro spoke with Coming Soon about the movie’s thematic storytelling. “Normally, when we think about mothers in movies, if you imagine where they are, they’re usually in the kitchen or in the store or in the car. It was really nice, really satisfying to have a mother front and center in a global action movie doing the thing that I most relate to as a mother, which is protect my children,” Caro stated.

From Lopez’s words, it is clear that the film tells a fictional story devised to explore motherhood from a fresh perspective. The same is represented in the film through the unnamed titular character whose past sins haunt her estranged daughter. As a result, the movie differentiates between the idea of giving birth and being a mother as it underlines the emotional and ethical implications of the latter. Furthermore, the movie has a strong survival aspect as The Mother must teach her daughter how to survive and navigate the various threats she faces.

Despite the universally resonant themes of the film, the narrative is set in a hyper-realistic world as it incorporates elements such as gangsters, arms dealers, federal agents, and assassins to craft a compelling and action-packed tale. As a result, the film is reminiscent of the 1994 French action-thriller movie ‘Léon: The Professional’ written and directed by Luc Besson.

All things said, ‘The Mother’ is a fictional story carved through a mother’s inner turmoil as she tries to protect her daughter. However, the film subverts the usual depiction of mothers in media by focusing on the mysterious and highly skilled titular character’s quest. The high-octane action sequences in the film serve to further the idea of how far a mother will go to protect her child, making the theme universally resonant and emotionally relatable.

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