Hugh Jackman stars in THE FOUNTAIN, directed by Darren Aronofsky for Warner Bros.

The Fountain (2006, Darren Aronofsky)

If you were to tell me I was going to react the way I did to The Fountain, Aronofsky’s dream project, I wouldn’t have believed you. While The Wrestler succeeded, Aronofsky didn’t write it. All my experience with his screenplays is negative.

In terms of how the film works, The Fountain is somewhat singular. It’s a rather straightforward narrative masquerading as a sci-fi event picture. It’s insane to think anyone would have given Aronofsky seventy-five million dollars to make this picture (with Brad Pitt, no less, who couldn’t have handled the acting). Hugh Jackman has to be three different people who are occasionally the same person, but don’t know about the other people, but are aware of the other people. It’s probably Jackman’s best performance.

I sat and waited for The Fountain‘s ending to fail, since the whole thing is about the ending. It never does.

Aronofsky’s direction is fantastic, as he incorporates special effects into his shots and to the way Jackman’s character experiences those special effects. Simply because what happens to Dave Bowman doesn’t matter to anyone but Dave Bowman and the viewer, The Fountain and its treatment of Jackman’s experiences is the first film to do it in this manner since 2001.

It seems like a great waste of budget to have these big space scenes with only one character experiencing them.

The Fountain is an experience for the character and the individual viewer. It’s hostile to the idea of an audience or communal reaction.

4/4★★★★

CREDITS

Directed by Darren Aronofsky; screenplay by Aronofsky, based on a story by Aronofsky and Ari Handel; director of photography, Matthew Libatique; edited by Jay Rabinowitz; music by Clint Mansell; production designer, James Chinlund; produced by Arnon Milchan, Iain Smith and Eric Watson; released by Warner Bros.

Starring Hugh Jackman (Tommy), Rachel Weisz (Izzi), Ellen Burstyn (Dr. Lillian Guzetti), Mark Margolis (Father Avila), Stephen McHattie (Grand Inquisitor Silecio), Fernando Hernandez (Lord of Xibalba), Cliff Curtis (Captain Ariel), Sean Patrick Thomas (Antonio), Donna Murphy (Betty), Ethan Suplee (Manny), Richard McMillan (Henry) and Lorne Brass (Dr. Alan Lipper).


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3 thoughts on “The Fountain (2006, Darren Aronofsky)”

  1. I haven’t quite made up my mind about _The Fountain_ yet. At other times I’ve called it an “interesting failure” but I can’t honestly say that it failed at anything other than being easy to digest. Oh, it did fail at entertaining the youngsters sitting behind me in the movie theater, I can say that much. It also supplied me with one of the most disturbing and memorable images I’ve ever seen onscreen, the image of Jackman frantically pulling at the sprouting vegetation that is about to overwhelm him. *shudder* Still creeps me out just thinking about it.

  2. I’ve just seen the film. Yeah, I’m a few years late. However, I think you’ll want to read this. I had a dream similar to a scene in the film just a month ago. So it was before I even knew the film existed. I dreamt of a tree growing out of me, through the exact same spot, left to the navel, where Thomas was cut, and through which plants grew out of Thomas. In my dream, it were more branches than that leafy flowers from the film. I can only remember pulling it out and it growing again and again, but I cannot recall the way it ended. I don’t know if this is some kind of a sign, but I feel exilarated and disappointed at the same time, coz it could have been me directing this movie. 🙂 😦

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