The Fountain

The Fountain

(2007)
The once hip Aronofsky (‘Requim For A Dream’, ‘Pi’) directs this odyssey styled adventure about a man trying desperately to save his wife, who’s dying of cancer. I’ll be struggling to give a succinct plot outline for this, seems pretty whack, but I’ll give it a shot… the film follows Tommy (Jackman) through 3 eras: the present, 16th Century Spain & America, and the future. In the present, his wife Izzi (Weiz) is dying and – as a scientist – he attempts to find a cure through experimental surgery on monkeys. Izzi is writing a novel which is presented via the 16th Century storyline. Here conquistador Tomas (Jackman) is dispatched by the Queen of Spain (Weiz) to the Americas, in search of the fountain of youth protected by Mayan Indians. And then there’s the future, in which Tom (Jackman) is flying through space in a bubble searching for the Xibalba nebula – believed by the Mayans to be the gateway to the underworld.

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The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 2 ratings, 2 reviews
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Its a pity that this film has been defined by dates and places when it seems more productive to read it symbolically and metaphorcally, as perspectives on the experience of facing death through terminal illness, and dying.
It is clearly Izzys loving perspective to see her desperate but distracted scientist husband as the conquistador in her novel, while his ambitions are seen as his fantasy skyhigh in bubble land with magical elixirs and powers gained.
Overblown in parts (Jackman so... More desperately missing the point) and unconvincing in others (Weiz as mentioned below, far too radiant), it took a while to engage sufficently to go along for the ride. About fourty-five minutes in, it worked for me, and the possibilities of a range of layered meanings opened up. I Loved the grand sweep of what it tried to do.
I went with a girly friend, we both agreed our partners would hate it.Hide


I'm sure many people will not enjoy The Fountain for a myriad of reasons - the way three plots overlay each other, sometimes with confusing dream-sequence like transitions - Rachel Weisz' luminous beauty, despite being in the final stages of an aggressive cancer... but if you're the type of filmgoer who enjoys thoughtful storytelling that doesn't spoonfeed you every step of the way, this is a fantastic film. It's long - I did at one point wonder how late it was getting - but not too long. The... More Fountain touches so closely on those deep, dark gut instincts we've all had about death and mortality that I had deja vu at one point.Hide


The Press Reviews

51% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • BBC

    First, the good news: The Fountain is only 97 minutes long. Now the bad: that's 97 minutes of rampant metaphysical codswallop... Full Review

  • At heart, this is a simple Zen fable about love and death. In execution, it’s a complex and gorgeous mini-epic with sterling performances from its two stars... Full Review

  • 1/2 Like all of his previous films, it's visually arresting - if any recent film embodies the concept of cinema as poetry, this it it - but unlike "Pi" or "Requiem for a Dream," these aren't characters we're ever invested in... Full Review

  • Bloated and logy, and art-directed within an inch of its life, the movie shovels heaps of phony portent and all-purpose mystical imagery onto a thin and maudlin plot... Full Review

  • Prepare to be happily perplexed in this time-warped, mind-bending and tree-hugging ode to love and death<em>...</em> Full Review

  • As it happens, each one of these tales is also a love story, and The Fountain is Aronofsky&rsquo;s profession of faith concerning love&rsquo;s place in the idea of eternity. It&rsquo;s a movie that&rsquo;s as deeply felt as it is imagined... Full Review

  • The problem, though, is that its techniques run too far beyond its ideas, which are blurry and banal, rather than mysterious and resonant. The Fountain is something to see, but it is also much less, finally, than meets the eye... Full Review