The Fountain (2006)
August 7th, 2007 by Maxim · 1 Comment · 6,081 Views
The Fountain is a very strange and moody movie, with weird visuals that reminded me of “The Night Watch” introductory sequence, Peter Gabriel’s “Growing Up” tour visuals, Andrei Tarkovsky’s original 1972 “Solaris” and a more recent “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. More of “Solaris” then anything else. In “Solaris” the people on board the spaceship have to re-live the death of their loved-ones. In “Eternal Sunshine” the main character is trying to hold on to his memories. In The Fountain, a doctor (Hugh Jackman) is in the race against (and through) time to find a cure for cancer that can save his wife’s (Rachel Weisz) life. The movie connects a thousand years of history: from a conquistador’s quest for the Tree o Life to free his queen, a doctor looking for the cure by working with different trees, and a futuristic space traveler on an island encapsulated in a bubble transporting the Tree of Life to a distant dying star that Maya identified with reincarnation. The film explores the life, death and rebirth as the world of spirituality. Three parallel stories (the book Izzi is writing) are almost a dream or a hallucination, so it should not be seen as a movie plot, but as an experience, as a sort of meditation on life and death. This movie could even have worked if actors were not talking at all, but if only I was watching these tantalizing visuals and listened to the music. It’s a painting, a poem.
The musical score is fantastic. It flows through the movie as a kind-of meditation background and builds up into a crescendo in the final sequence. Beautiful. As our hero begins ascent to the hidden Mayan pyramid, the music and the acting follows.
This movie is unlike most films I’ve seen. The first half hour were so strange. As a matter of fact, the first thing I said out-loud 20 minutes into the movie was “This is a strange movie”. I could not quite follow the plot and figure out what’s going on, but as the three parallel stories interconnected I was absolutely hypnotised.
The moral of the story is to learn to accept and enjoy life as it is (very Christian message), learn to mourn and get peace of mind, and even when one finds eternal life – only through death. Flames to dust, ashes to ashes…
Oh, one more association I have about this movie: when our doctor was using a pen to tatoo a wedding ring on his ring finger – reminded me of the Pink Floyd movie “The Wall” when the guy was shaving all hair from his body including his eyebrows: people inflict physical pain on themselves trying to numb the pain in their soul.
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