Reader Gerber attended a recent screening of Daren Aronofsky's THE FOUNTAIN and was cool enough to give us his thoughts on the film. Basically, the film is exactly what we were expecting - an open-ended, surreal, almost stream-of-consciousness film that'll probably leave you with more questions than answers but will inevitably embed itself in your mind and have you thinking about all kinds of stuff for days. Awesome. Warning: there's a few SPOILERS so proceed at your own risk. The film is set for release possibly in October.http://www.joblo.com/upcomingmovies/movies.php?id=322http://www.joblo.com/upcomingmovies/movies.php?id=322
Just got back from a screening of "The Fountain" and thought I'd share some thoughts on the film.
Let's get some things out of the way. The movie is about Tommy (Hugh Jackman) trying to save the love of his life (Rachel Weisz). The journey spans one thousand years, from the 1505 to 2505 as he attempts to find the tree of life - something akin to the fountain of youth. And let me also say that I liked this movie a lot. Now that that's out of the way let's get down to the movie.
The movie opens with a biblical passage reading something along the lines of "God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and guarded the tree of life with a sword of flame." Following this text, we open on Tommy, a conquistador in 1505, praying before going on a mission in the Mayan jungle. He is followed by two compatriots. As they traverse the jungle, they happen upon what they believe to be a trap. It is.
After standing his ground, Tommy is led to a pyramid. Upon climbing to the top, he finds a warrior who immediately slays him. We quickly jump to the year 2505 where Tommy, now bald, floats through space in what can best be described as a bubble containing a dying tree, and a small creek - these segments play out much like the chapter in Alan Moore's "The Watchmen" in which Dr. Manhattan flees to Mars and is haunted by all of his past memories. Tommy seems to be the only thing in space, and he is haunted by the memories of his life as a conquistador, and his life in 2005, which we now come to.
In 2005 Tommy is a surgeon working for a pharmaceutical company. He is working on a drug to cure brain tumors, experimenting on a monkey. After they find that none of their previous therapies have worked on the monkey, he remembers a sample taken from South America that had some sort of regenerative effect, and decides to attempt to use it on the monkey. The thing is his wife Izzi also has a brain tumor, and as Tommy's co-workers see him working doggedly and needing a few days off, he is working against time to attempt to save not the monkey, but Izzi.
Sounds fairly straightforward right? Well it would be, but Aronofsky has taken a page from David Lynch. The movie gives away very little each time it switches time periods, and the only link between them seems to be Tommy in 2505, but not in any immediately discernable way. This is a movie that cannot be watched passively, you've got to pay attention, and probably will need to see it at least twice to get it all. Many people seemed to leave the screening saying "what the hell happened?" Matthew Libatique and Clint Mansell again are on board for cinematography and score, both of which are by far the best aspects of the film. At any rate, for those that like tought-provoking movies with questions that aren't easily answered, this movie is for you. The rest of you who like movies where all questions are wrapped up easily in nice little packages, save your money.