Release Date: November 22nd, 2006 by Warner Brothers Pictures.
The Cast: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Ellen Burstyn, Mark Margolis, Stephen McHattie, Fernando Hernandez, Cliff Curtis, Sean Patrick Thomas, Donna Murphy, Ethan Suplee.
Directed by Darren Aronofsky.
BASIC PREMISE: Tommy (Jackman) tries to find a cure for his wife’s, Izzi’s (Weisz), brain tumor while reading her book, The Fountain, where Tomas (Jackman), a 16th Century conquistador fights for his love of Queen Isabel (Weisz). In the distant future, Tom (Jackman) travels with the “tree of life” in a space pod.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Essentially three films in one, The Fountain is the kind of film with such a mind-boggling plot that it will surely split audiences into those who love it or those who hate it, depending on how much it annoys them with its inaccessibility. In each of the narrative threads, the characters played by Hugh Jackman either search for eternal life or try to figure out its meaning. Mind-bloggling plots such as this have been done well before in films such as The Matrix and Dark City, but, here, it doesn’t feel as engaging and fun as it could have been with better writing. Writer/director Darren Aronofsky includes too much bland dialogue that comes across as stilted and awkward. With all the annoying transitions between the three narratives, the audience easily feels disconnected to all of the characters. Aronofsky doesn’t follow a logical narrative structure which makes it more difficult to understand what’s going on or, for that matter, to even care about what’s going on. At least Aronofsky manages to show off his trademark visual talents with awe-inspiring visual effects and cinematography which do provide for plenty of eye candy. If only he had spent enough time developing the characters and plot in a coherent way, The Fountain would have been much more powerful and exciting rather than dull, pretentious and headache-inducing.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None, other than the mention of the existence of eternal life and unconditional love.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you suspend your disbelief.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 12
IN A NUTSHELL: Spectacular visual effects with a mind-boggling plot, but ultimately too confusing, pretentious and dull.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
The "F" Menu