DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Fountain - review

The Fountain (12a)

Dir. Darren Aronofsky

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

What if you knew you could live forever? How might you live differently? Would it change how would you love? This is an age old theme – from the biblical Garden of Eden’s ‘Tree of Life’ through to Highlander’s immortal ‘prize’ – it’s one that resonates to the depths of the human heart because one day we’ll all find out what’s next for us after this life…
Director Darren ‘Requiem For A Dream’ Aronofsky has obviously been giving all this some serious thought and the result is The Fountain starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz. This is a trippy vision of ethereal themes, wrapped in sci fi trappings and mixed with cod philosophy musings on interconnectedness. It certainly won’t be for everyone because The Fountain is a film unlike any you will ever have seen. It’s a kind of ‘living cinematic poetry’ – a fascinating, heartbreaking and altogether weirdly beautiful testament to love, life, and the impermanence of death. If you thought 2001: A Space Odyssey’s plot was weird – try this:
In the U.S. in the year 2006, there’s a scientist named Thomas (played with straight faced angst by Hugh Jackman) who is valiantly struggling to find a cure for his dying wife Izzi (the always watchable Rachel Weisz). At the same time / in 16th century Spain there’s a conquistador named Tomas (also Jackman) who is on a mission to save his Queen (you guessed it – Weisz). At the same time / far in the future, there is an astronaut named Tom (yep, Jackman again) who is floating through space in a 26th Century bubble on his way to Xibalba - a distant nebula worshipped by the Mayans as being simultaneously both the underworld and their place of rebirth… Are you still with me?
As you can probably guess from that description, the whole thing treads a very fine line between drowning in self pretentious garbage and actually trying to expound its metaphysical ponderings in a way that can be made sense of. It’s a bizarre mixture of the 3 interlocking time periods that merge in the final act in a head spinning finale that will either make you want your money back or send you home with new enlightenment in your heart. I’m still trying to work out quite which way I feel about it – it really is that kind of film…

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action öö - the conquistador gets some action
Laughs öö – not unless you laugh at Buddist philosphy?
Horror öö – emotional horror?
Babes ööö – Weisz is still yummy (see below)

Overall ööö1/2 (Like having you head taken off and screwed back on upside down)

"I liked your Wolverine hairdo better..."


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Anonymous said...

Matt, do you know the UK release date for this one?

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