The Fountain (2006)
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Review Date: November 15, 2006
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Darren Aronofsky
Producers: Arnon Milchan, Iain Smith, Eric Watson
Hugh Jackman as Tom
Rachel Weisz as Izzi
Ellen Burstyn as Lilian
This movie is pretty hard to explain (especially for a half-wit as myself), but it basically takes place over three different time periods, 1500, 2000 and 2500, with the two lead characters essentially attempting to continue to love one another, despite war, illness and the finality of a little something called “death”. Do they make it? Not sure, but right about now, I wanna smoke a bowl!!
I’m not one to do a lot of drugs, but about halfway through this movie, I was hoping that someone next to me would pass me a joint so that I could appreciate the film’s awesome visuals on yet another lofty level, while at the same time, delving even deeper into its timeless story. Granted, I wasn’t able to decipher its final act entirely in my first go-around, but I connected to much of the film nonetheless and heartily enjoyed it. It’s one of those movies that I can see myself watching over and over again…with or without the aid of external stimulants. The film looks absolutely splendid, the actors are all top-notch, the score and cinematography should win awards, and ultimately, the film’s message is a deep and life-affirming journey, with science-fiction, love and the fountain of life all joining the big-screen party. Sure, I wish it all would have crystallized perfectly for me in the end, but I won’t blame the film for that, since it’s obvious that it’s one of those movies that you really have to see a few times to really “get” all the way through (unless you’re smarter than me, which is highly likely). Or, better yet, smoke a little weed before you check it out and see what everyone was flipping out about when Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY was released back in the day. Which ever way you cut it though, this ain’t no cookie-cutter remake bullshit flick, it’s a unique and engaging journey, straight from the mind of writer/director Darren Aronofsky.

The film’s final 20 minutes or so feature some of the most stunning visuals that I have seen on the big screen in quite some time. I literally felt transported into this other world drenched in imagination, depth of purpose and a consciousness that was no longer just human. I really can’t wait to see this movie again, since unlike many films that have been churned out of Hollywood over the past few years, it actually tries something highly ambitious and on top of that, succeeds on almost every level. You gotta respect a filmmaker who is able to spend so much time on a project (it took Aronofsky about six years to complete this film) and ultimately deliver a result that should satisfy most anyone looking for an alternative in today’s movie marketplace. The film can easily be seen as a meditation on life itself, or better yet, an examination of what constitutes “true love” within the confines of our human lives on planet Earth, while at the same time, carrying with it three intertwining stories featuring developed characters who are obviously connected, driven and engaging to follow.

Is the film esoteric? Absolutely! I’m not gonna recommend that my “popcorn loving” parents check it out anytime soon, or that my 14-year old cousin who enjoys the Playstation drop coin on opening day, but if grappling with deeper life issues is part of your own constitution, if love in all of its facets, including fictionalized science, tickle your human curiosity and if you’re a massive fan of plush visuals, rousing musical scores and deep connections between two human beings, this film should be at the top of your list of “movies to see” this year, and certainly one to eventually purchase on dvd, so that you could buy some weed from your neighbor, shut the lights in your living room, slap a bag of Doritos next to you for “later” and allow yourself to be transported into a beautiful world created by the man who dares to shoot for the stars himself: Darren Aronofsky. And how cool is it that he actually met his future wife on the set of this timeless love story? (actress Rachel Weisz) Kudos, sir…major kudos.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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