Fountain, the - 4 Coins in this Fountain

20th Century Fox
Duration: 96min
Category: Sci Fi
Available: On DVD
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Reaction to Aronofskyís film The Fountain has been quite extreme. Many people are responding with quite a dramatic dislike for the film. Others are impressed by the aesthetic and emotional ride it provides. I think I fall somewhere in the middle.

I havenít loved the directorís previous work. Both Π and Requiem for a Dream felt more flashy than meaty and didnít really touch me. For the first time, he has reached me with The Fountain. His intertwining stories of the search for eternal life were riveting to me and were augmented by his visual style.

Itís too difficult to describe the plot. Hugh Jackman plays a man looking for the secret to eternal life in 3 different ages, 500 years ago, today and 500 years in the future. Rachel Weisz plays the object of his affection. How these characters and lives are connected is a matter of interpretation.

Where the film succeeds is twofold. It is visually stunning. He creates each era as a separate, complete world yet manages to tie them all together visually in a manner that works well. He weaves in and out of each story, fitting the parts together like fine cut puzzle pieces. The art direction is lush and romantic, emphasising the themes of the narrative.

The narrative is the other successful part of the film. Each story is engaging enough to resonate. I was involved in each plot and curious about they could fit together. The Fountain is a film for those people who like to work it out later, discuss it over coffee and ruminate on the themes in the following days. Itís not for an audience that likes to be handed a familiar plot and be told how itís going to end.

However, where the film looses me is that even at its very short length, The Fountain doesnít have quite enough story to fill the time. For a short movie, itís slow paced. Aronofsky doesnít seem to get the film into a rhythm that propels the audience through it. I looked at my watch a few times, always surprised at how slowly it was moving along.

The Fountain also benefits from strong performances from its leads. Weisz is always good but Jackman really gets to shine.

Still, this is the kind of film, with its breathtaking visuals, that you can enjoy seeing on the big screen. Be prepared to think and question and donít expect it to fly by.

Review By: Collin Smith

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