The Fountain is a beautiful movie. The visual aspects of this film overpower the story at times, but because the story is one based on love and time, the images aid in the transition between the three time periods shown, as there is no overlying narrator to guide the viewer through scenes. Darren Aronofsky’s previous movie, 2000s Requiem for a Dream, led the viewer through the delusions of drug addiction, and the Fountain takes the passion of that movie and redirects it into timeless love. The story’s sequence is a puzzle, but the writers attempt to tie up lose ends
The movie follows the story of four characters: the conquistador Tomas, Queen Isabel of Spain, Tom Creo, and Izzy Creo. Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz play these nearly interchangeable characters who are all searching for a way to extend life. Tomas is sent by Queen Isabel into the lands of New Spain to find the Tree of Life, the second tree from the Garden of Eden that was hidden by God after Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Using a dagger taken from a Mayan temple as a map, Tomas journeys to the New World for Spain, and for his queen. In a more modern story, husband and wife, Tom and Izzy, deal with Izzy?s impending death due to brain cancer, and Tom’s obsession in healing Izzy. These two are the main core of the movie, and also the explanation for the third, futuristic, and most abstract portion of the flick. Interjected between Spain?s conquest and Izzy’s sickness is a highly developed Tom traveling alone in a bubble with a tree towards a distant star. In this sequence, Tom has conversations with memories of Izzy and the tree. This portion of the movie is where many people would distance themselves from the movie. However, it is not apparent at first how this future Tom has come from a modern time to one where this type of space travel is possible. Through the main themes of the movie, the viewer will piece together the sequence of the story that truly takes its influence from the search for the fountain of youth, and transfers it to a spiritual realization that defies physical eternal life.
Writing a review of this movie is like critiquing a piece of art. Although released in mainstream movie theaters, it belongs to the art house theater. The acting is poetic; more is said through the actors? movement and expressions than in spoken dialogue. In fact, there is a scene without sound to add an atmosphere reflective of Tom?s state of mind that leaves more of an impact than any monologue could be.
This movie is not for everyone. But for those who appreciate the abstract and do not need a plot driven movie, I recommend this movie over any of the holiday claptrap usually released this time of year. Just be sure to go into the theater with an open mind.
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