Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Fountain...springing forth

The Fountain - Darren Aronofsky - 2006 - 9/10


This summary likely won't do The Fountain justice, but here goes. The movie intersperses three stories which I ultimately decided (you could come to another conclusion) that one was reality, one was a dream, and one was a story. In the end, which was which is mildly debatable. So the first one follows Tommy (Hugh Jackman), a doctor looking for an experimental cure for tumors, in the hope he will find a cure for his wife, Izzy (Rachel Weisz). The second one follows a hairless Hugh Jackman piloting a nebulous orb incasing himself and a tree that he is steering torward a dying star. The third one follows a conquistador, again Jackman, who's unshakable loyalty to the Queen of Spain, again Weisz, sends him to the lands of the Mayas in search of the tree of life. Each story looks to take place 1000 years apart from each other, but all three stories share one thing - Weisz is Jackman's everything.


This movie was really powerful. I'm new to Aronofsky's genius - I haven't seen Pi or Requiem (I know, I know, I'm working on it). Beyond calling the movie "powerful" its tough about where to go from there. It's Aronofsky's show through and through - he wrote the script, wrote the story, directed it, even had his girlfriend play the lead female role. I guess I can go from there. Rachel Weisz is GREAT. She shows real acting chops that really distances her from the drudge she had to dish out in The Mummy movies. She has the same sort of inner confident sadness with the outward optimism that we see in The Constant Gardener - playing a somewhat similar, less metaphysically charged role. Jackman is no slouch either - playing three roles that take us to the edge of each possible character - a high tempered, pigheaded doctor, a deeply calm buddhist?, and a loyal but solemn conquistador. Each role is given the same dedication and the same reality. Jackman's facial features are especially endearing as we can feel all of his sadness, all of his frustration. To top it all off Aronofsky makes the movie look very classy - everything is beautiful, and it's easy to understand why. A little imdb background revealed that Aronofsky shunned CGI for micro photography of chemical reactions in petri dishes. The result is something that is truly masterful art that makes a huge difference in creating an atmosphere that is leaps and bounds different than what we would have seen with CGI. So I was clearly blown away by the movie - but I will say - the movie probably needs to be watched a few times so you can really appreciate it (probably like Aronofsky's other movies I hear).


Buy it (multiple viewings).

If you liked this movie, see...
...Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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