A couple of weeks ago I finally saw The Fountain. It’s written and directed by Darren Aranofsky, who did Requiem for a Dream and Pi (two films on my very long “still to watch” list) and stars Hugh Jackman (X-Men, The Prestige) and Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener, The Mummy).
I’m not sure how to describe the movie without giving too much away of the plot, but I’m going to give it a try. As the title suggests, the movie’s about the Fountain of Youth, the Tree of Life, in short the quest for being able to live forever. The story spans a 1000 years merging three storylines. The first is in the present with a doctor, trying to find a cure for his dying wife. The second is in the 16th century with a conquistador who is given the mission by his queen to search for the Tree of Life. The third… well… I think you have to see the third to actually believe me, but it’s about 500 years in the future about a space traveler traveling through space (duh) in a giant bubble (not so much duh).
It somehow sounds too weird, but it actually works all great together. The movie is beautifully filmed, although some may say the special effects and lighting make it too fake. I actually thought they were used just right, giving the movie this surreal, magical feel. What I really love about The Fountain though is that it’s open to your own interpretation. I love movies which get you thinking and in this case the plot, the settings, the characters all stimulate you in constructing an explanation in which you believe in. It’s gives the same fulfillment as solving a difficult puzzle.
The movie didn’t do that well in the box office and I do see why. It’s different then the normal mainstream movies and for the regular movie-goer it might be a bit too slow and confusing. I’d recommend this film to anyone who wants something fresh, romantic and doesn’t get too confounded with a movie that puts your mind to work.