The Fountain is this year’s most heart breaking love story. In many ways, The Fountain feels like something Kubrick would have done visually, but with a much more romantic edge that Kubrick hardly ever displayed on screen. The Fountain is also one of the most breathtaking films in years. There were several moments where I was in shock at what I was seeing.
This is a truly visionary film helmed by director Darren Aronofsky. Aronofsky’s last film, Requiem for a Dream, was another heart breaking story only about addiction more so than love or death. However The Fountain is completely different from Requiem, not only in the way its story is told but also in the way it is made. Requiem is known for its very creative cinematography and editing, whereas The Fountain will be known for its visually fascinating imagery, story and music. It would seem in the six years it took to make The Fountain, Darren has definitely matured his talent and has figured out other, more creative ways to make use of his talent. In many cases, while The Fountain could have been a three hour epic, Aronofsky chopped it down to a tight 96 minutes and it flows just perfectly.
In case you haven’t heard what the film is about, all I can tell you is a small bit, as this is a visual quest for audiences to experience. The film is divided in three parallel stories that intersect at different points of the film. The film has a range of topics and themes including love, death and spirituality. I think the best example of what the film is about came from one of the producers who said the film is, “a love poem to death.”
With that in mind, The Fountain is still not an easy film to immediately grasp. More than likely, after the last part of the film has ended, one will have more questions than actual answers. However, upon further viewings I think there will be a lot to uncover as Mr. Aronofsky has certainly placed a wealth of material in a relatively small time frame.
The cast did a great job with the material. Watching Hugh Jackman step out of the Wolverine role and fill in the shoes of both a magician in The Prestige and now three other characters in The Fountain is wonderful.
Hugh Jackman has become one of my favorite actors as of late, as his range is beginning to expand. He plays each of the three characters (Tom, a conquistador, and a spiritual being) so radically different from one another, it is quite amazing to watch. Rachel Weisz also does a terrific job in her different roles and it is about time to really see her shine. Besides The Constant Gardener, she has been stuck in a lot of roles that do not really do much for her as an actress. In The Fountain, she is able to really show off her talent, even if she is a bit outshined by Jackman.
As for the music, Clint Mansell has really grown as a composer. He has always done a fitting job with his scores, especially Requiem which has constantly been ripped off by film students around the country in their own films because it is so darn good. However, with The Fountain‘s score, Clint has created his best work yet by far. If this score isn’t at least nominated at the Academy Awards, it is obvious the Academy has lost any of its credibility.
Mansell once again teamed up with the Kronos Quartet but also added the post rock band Mogwai. Mogwai and other similar bands such as Explosions in the Sky (composed Friday Night Lights music) have a very keen idea on what works as film music. It is nice to see composers finally using those groups with their compositions and certainly with The Fountain, it truly worked.
Other aspects that truly dazzled on The Fountain, were the cinematography and editing. Both of which were done by the same two that worked on Requiem. The cinematography is beautiful and fits perfectly with the film, without all of the flash and neat tricks from Requiem. The editing is also very smooth and must have been some real work with the three time lines in the film. I could see both the cinematography and editing being nominated by the Academy as well.
It would seem Mr. Aronofosky and the rest of his team, several who have been working with him all along, have really begun to coalesce. This film’s collaboration has really succeeded in telling a different kind of science fiction story, one that needs to be seen more than once. This film has the most adventurous and unique story this year, so do yourself a favor and dive into The Fountain, it’s worth getting wet.
– Brandon Hill, MoviePulse