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The Fountain


The Fountain (2006) is an amazing existential film exploring the duality of life and death, and ultimately about living fully in the moment. It's an incredible poetic movie by an original director at the top of his game. I loved it. Please don't go see this movie.

Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Pi) shows that he's one of the most talented directors working today with a panoply of visual and auditory brush strokes that border on brilliance. This film is so rich and lavish with recurring symbols, set pieces and cinematography that you could watch The Fountain with no sound and still be blown away. Two scenes gave me chills.

Hugh Jackman gives an emotionally raw performance that is convincing and never over-the-top, despite numerous opportunities to overreach. In this one film, Jackman reminds us there's more to his oeuvre than comic characters and romantic comedies (and you know I'm serious if I'm using words like "oeuvre").

The Fountain is told in a non-linear method that focuses on the stories of a conquistador in the past, a doctor in the present and a man in the future, each of which is questing for eternal life, love and dealing with loss. To seriously try and explain the story further would be both futile and a disservice to the experience. This film is more about poetry than prose and more about questions than answers.

So, while I absolutely loved this film in every way, the reasons that I enjoyed The Fountain are exactly same reasons that I'm begging you to go watch something else. Before I left to go see this movie, several women I work with asked me what I was going to watch. When I told them it was The Fountain, they all swooned over Hugh Jackman and probably imagined I was going to see a love story (thus upping my stock as a dude willing to see such fare on my own), but this is no chick flick.

I imagine that about 12 people who read this review would actually love this movie like I did. If you enjoy movies that are hard to follow, are self-indulgent art pieces and may make you speechless as you ponder the meanings and complexities of what you just watched, then by all means seek out this film. Otherwise, save yourself some pain (and me some hate mail) and go rent Talledega Nights.


10 out of 10



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