The Fountain – You Tell Me Whats Going On.
After seeing Black Swan I decided to delve deeper into Darren Aronofsky’s body of work. Being a huge Sci Fi fan I thought I’d give The Fountain a try. Some claim to find this film confusing.
The film is just three different stories that take place over the course of a thousand years tangentially related, but at the same time irrevocably intertwined and presented out of order. Throw in flashbacks within flashbacks, a possible time travel event that changes the ending, and the fact that the same actors play the different characters over the ages and what’s confusing about that?
But wait a minute, its science fiction, that means space ships, ray gun battles, explosions, and alien creatures right? Right?!
Oh wait you mean its conceptual science fiction? That means you have to think.
Darren Aronofsky has previously directed Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and The Wrestler, so you can guess what this one is like. Dark, moody, beautiful and filled with subtle and not so subtle religious imagery, it comes off as a series of short stories wedged in between the various pieces of an existential art exhibit.
Rachel Weisz blends into her roles so well you almost forget that she’s in the film twice, playing two different characters. Why this actress isn’t better utilized by the studio system remains the real mystery.
Hugh Jackman also blends well into the visual fabric of the story, but his performance is a little forced at times. To be fair, few actors know how to properly portray grief. (Hint: it’s quiet and subtle, not overwrought and confrontational.)
The visually gorgeous and exorbitant cinematography is a double edged sword that further hinders the ability to follow the story. The best way to enjoy this one may be just to scan the internet for stills from the film.
This film does try to make a serious examination of some of the issues central to life’s bigger meanings… dealing with loss, trying to cheat death, acceptance and making the most of what time you have. But the viewer has to alternate between digging into the symbolism and having the message shoved in your face.
Long ago released on DVD, every one who missed it at the theater has lost out on the true potential of this film, its ability to wow the audience with bigger than life visuals that blow the mind. See it if you are a fan of Aronofsky’s style, or those picture books that NASA occasionally releases of space.
Genre ……………… Science Fiction, Fantasy
Director …………….Darren Aronofsky
Cast ………………… Rachel Weisz, Hugh Jackman
Length ……………… 96 min.
Visual Rating…….. 4.5 Stars
Film Rating ………… 3 Stars