Sunday, December 03, 2006

THE FOUNTAIN: Discussion

After seeing the trailer for this movie, I was really excited to go see it and had very high expectations. I thought, “Cool! It’s a love story about a conquistador who discovers the fountain of youth and spends 2000 years trying to find the reincarnation of his love over and over again.” It’s like in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, where Vlad the Impaler loses his wife several hundred years back, and becomes infatuated with Mena because she bears an uncanny resemblance to his original true love. Unfortunately, THE FOUNTAIN was nothing close to the movie I was expecting to see from the trailer, and it took me a good while to figure this out.

Basically, if I’m interpreting things right, here’s how the time stuff played out in this film: All of the conquistador segments were part of Weisz’s novel, all of the present-day segments were actually happening, and all of the future segments had absolutely NO GROUNDING in this film whatsoever!!!! It could have been Jackman finishing Weisz’s book, or it could have been Jackman actually finding the secret to long life, living forever, and traveling to her nebula… I just wish Aronofsky had been a little bit more careful with his handling of the future material, because this is where the film totally fell apart for me.

Personally, this movie became much more interesting once Aronofsky introduced the fact that Weisz was writing a manuscript and I realized that the whole depiction of everlasting love and life was actually just wishful thinking on her part. But then this idea became incredibly garbled and contrived when Jackman stumbled upon the very tree Weisz had been writing about... and uses it to live on and become a part of the MATRIX or something.... I mean, all the Buddhist stuff???? What was that?

I didn't think THE FOUNTAIN was a particularly confusing movie, as a lot of critics have been saying. Instead, I just thought that it was a muddled mish-mosh of ideas. In some ways, THE FOUNTAIN felt a bit like a David Lynch film in this respect…. There were a lot of interesting and moody puzzle pieces composing it, but as a whole it didn’t quite fit together.

If Jackman hadn’t found the tree of life in “reality”, I think this movie would have been much more concise and powerful. It would have touched more upon the heart of what I think Aronofsky was going for here, which was ultimately a story about grieving and coming to terms with the inescapableness of mortality… It’s not how much time you have left, but what you do with your time that counts.

Another big problem I had with this movie was.... for a story about two people who are deeply in love, we never actually get to see the "love" or happy times. The only happy shot we get is that ungrounded image of Weisz running in a red dress with a smile on her face. Would it have been too much to ask for just one or two scenes where we see their honeymoon period, or any kind of sense as to WHY these people are so deeply in love? There was not a single joke or light moment in this entire movie. And I know it’s supposed to be profound, serious, and painful… but sometimes throwing in a couple of highs can make the lows feel that much more powerful.

On a final note… Big props to my friend, Mark Margolis, who played the Franciscan monk. Pretty much the only thing I enjoyed in this entire movie. He is the man!

Okay. That’s my shpiel on THE FOUNTAIN! Feel free to add to this, or write in with anything else you want to talk about pertaining to this movie!


Courtney said...

Great reviews, why did you stop in December?

Rebecita said...

adaaam! mr danger himself! i just found your blog, and you aren't even posting anymore! Blogging is the one way I actually keep in touch these day.

(Also, I really enjoyed Stranger than Fiction, even if it was flawed! But I did see it immediately following "I Think I Love My Wife", which was wrist-slittingly awful.)

Anonymous said...

Hi Adam!

Caroline said...

Hi, Adam

I just found your blog and this is great! I love movies.
I'm a big Jodie Foster's fan and you're amazing in "Little man Tate". Let me say you learned a lot from her.
I'm so glad that cute and smart little boy became an intelligent, down to earth and talented young man.

Hugs and kisses,

P.S: I'm brazilian, so forgive my poor english.

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