Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer/s: Darren Aronofsky (screenplay, story by), Ari Handel (story)
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Ellen Burstyn, Mark Margolis, and more.
Requested Review from Michael Phillips!
I assume the uptick in requests for Darren Aronofsky films came about when I did my review on “mother!” as this is one of two requests. In due time I will be doing “Requiem for a Dream” and now I am delivering you the Oberrated Review on “The Fountain”. My friend Michael asked me to do this film after a general conversation about Darren Aronofsky and, obviously, with his knowledge of my man crush on Hugh Jackman. Prior to this film, I have seen only “mother!”, “Black Swan”, and “Noah”. So I am well versed in what to expect from an Aronofsky film. However, no matter how prepared one can be, one is no where near prepared enough at the same time. It is now time for Oberrated to tackle yet another Aronofsky film.
“As a modern-day scientist, Tommy is struggling with mortality, desperately searching for the medical breakthrough that will save the life of his cancer-stricken wife, Izzi.”
Exhausting… I am absolutely exhausted after watching “The Fountain”. This is not a negative point though because when I say this, I simply mean it in terms of how engaging the film is to make me think throughout. For me, this was a much more pleasant and easy going watch than “mother!” was. “mother!” was more of a shock value film while “The Fountain” was an engaging yet calmer presentation of Aronofsky story-telling. There is no easy way of explaining an Aronofsky film. In the best of my ability, the simplest way possible is to say this film is about love and death. It goes much farther beyond those two topics but those two are among the core elements of this film.
The stars of the film, Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz, are truly immaculate within their characters. Jackman plays (primarily) a scientist who battles with finding out a cure to not only cancer but death. Weisz plays his wife who while being a cancer victim, also plays a symbol of acceptance, hope, and even so much more. Her role goes beyond what is seen on the surface and for me, she was someone who should be talked about on the same level as Jackman’s characters. Maybe even more so.
Jackman’s performance is a marvel to witness though. His range of stubbornness to desperation to determination to sadness to even so much more is a sight to behold. If you do not already know, Jackman’s ability to perform goes well beyond the common Wolverine. He is brilliant.
A quick bit of appreciation goes to the images Aronofsky and crew delivered within “The Fountain”. The beautiful (yet strange at the same time) images were awe-inspiring. Primarily I direct this “awe” to the final 3-5 minutes of the film. These sequences were the main reason why I was exhausted by the end of the film, on top of its constant pace.
An Aronofsky film is not for the everyday movie-goer. His films are poetic and thought-provoking. The subtlest word or action can have a plethora of meanings and demand a conversation. As any artist does, they have their own inspiration and meaning to all of their work. I am sure Aronofsky has his explanations but as for society when they watch his films, they open up conversations and debates of what his films symbolize. Despite being challenging and confusing, as expected, “The Fountain” was an overall great piece of film to absorb and think about.