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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

The Fountain (2006)


Next time I decide to watch this, someone remind me to smoke a crazy amount of weed.

The plot is confusing, but I’ll give it a go anyway. Modern-day scientist, Tommy Creo (Hugh Jackman), loves his wife (Rachel Weisz) and wants nothing more than her love and her life to be there with him. However, she has caught a very serious case of cancer and is starting to fade away. In the meantime, she gives him her book that she wrote, which tells the story of a 16th Century conquistador, finding a Tree of Life where sap that grants you everlasting life is lying somewhere in there. While this story is going on, there’s also another where a man from the future, chills out in a bubble for reasons I can’t totally specify right now. Just watch and you’ll see.

I’d be a friggin’ fool if I sat here, wrote about how much I knew exactly what this flick was about, and told you that I’m the highest-mofo there is on the totem-pole. Because, honestly, let’s face it: I’m still not a 100% sure I know everything about this flick. However, I know enough (roughly 80%), so I’d say that’s worth some credit, right? Well, either way, this flick is still a bit of a head-scratcher but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or astrologer to get what the hell this flick is all about. Just know this: It’s a movie that’s about a guy trying to save his slowly-dying wife, from, well, dying. If you know that, you’re good and probably a lot better off than most people who probably walked into this back in the days of 2006.

Also, another pointer before watching this film that may or may not judge how much you like this flick is that it’s directed by Darren Aronofsky. Yes, that Darren Aronofsky. So, there ya go. Two pointers for the price of one review. Continue to read if you’d like. If not, sit down, shut up, and see what the hell I gots to say.

Thanks for sticking by if you’ve gotten this far. Really do appreciate it.

It's what they call: burning love. Geddd it.......

It’s what they call, “burning love”. Geddd it?!?!?

Anyway, what makes this flick such a mind-teaser is because even if you do feel like you have it known, from beginning to end, there’s still probably one or two scenes that may throw you off your grind and have you re-think what it is you just came to the conclusion with. For some, that may annoy the hell out of, but for others (such as yours truly), it works and makes the film more worth the watch and wait. It’s what makes it special in the way that it doesn’t is that it can be taken in in many, different ways; but no matter where your mind wanders or what type of philosophical babble you may speak about with your hip and cool friends at PBR-tasting parties, you still can’t get past the fact that this is a story about a man, who is trying to save his wife. It’s a story that’s been done to death by now, but given the ideas and themes that Aronofsky presents, it takes on a whole, new meaning.

Since the flick takes place in three different ways, you never know what is true, what’s really happening and how it affects the actual people you think you’re watching. All you can know is whatever you decide to believe in. Sounds stupid, I know, but using your noggin is mainly what these types of movies are made for. To see this couple go through their ups and their downs, is not only beautiful, but warms your heart as well. That’s why when everything starts to turn sour for them, you really feel it and get right behind them, in hopes that everything will work itself out. However, that’s just not the hand that life deals ya sometimes.

That’s why watching this touched me. Granted, I wasn’t crying myself to sleep after I saw this, but the themes of everlasting love, doing whatever’s in your will-power for the one you love, and never losing hope in the face of doom, really resonated with me. Not saying that I’ve ever had to deal with anything quite like that, but the feelings of having to go through such situations and crises as that, resonated with me. You can tell that this story came from a real soft-spot in Aronofsky’s heart and as much as he may focus on the look, the visuals, and the hypnotic score, the story is what really keeps it grounded in a sense of reality and drama, no matter how loose the ends may get.

Speaking of the way it looks, it’s downright beautiful. Apparently, the story behind this movie is that not only did Aronofsky had to delay this for about a whole two years, but also had to cut-back on the budget as well. Supposedly, it went from $70 million, to $35 million, and yet, this is what they came up with. To be honest, I’m shocked that the studios let Aronofsky get away with this, but better yet, I’m wondering just how the man got it to look like that at all. It’s a beauty of a film from start-to-finish and feels more like a bunch of moving-images that capture your eyes, as well as your wonder. Even if you hate this flick’s story because you have no idea what’s actually going, at least you can feel at peace just gazing at the masterful artwork on-display here. Beauty of a film, if I’ve ever seen one.

However, I still can’t sit here and lie as if I know it all about this flick and also say that it’s the masterpiece some have made it out to be. For me, as much as I didn’t mind the story, the ideas, the themes, or the direction, I still feel as if this was made by some kid who got way too high one night, sat down, got a whole bunch of paper, found a typewriter and decided to pen a script about all of the mind-bending jumble he came up with and thought was as smart as the dickens. No offense to Aronofsky, because the guy’s got what it takes as a writer, but some of this feels like it’s a bit too big for even his own ambitions, and a lot less in the mind-set of coming up with something all of us can understand in one, simple language.

Like that scene from Spider-Man 2. Except with more under-lining themes of love and immortality. I think.

Like that scene from Spider-Man 2. Except with more under-lining themes of love and immortality. I think.

I know I may sound like a total and complete brat who can’t handle movies that challenge my sense of thought, but some of this is overly-ambitious. Hell, I’m still wondering if it all makes sense and I don’t know if that’s a knock against him for his pretentiousness  or me for my own stupidity. Either way, not everything will touch you and it sure as hell will have you confused, which is why I think Aronofsky could have toned things down a tad bit more than he did. Then again, maybe I just needed to be one of those kids that got way too high.

Because then, I would have seen the world for all of it is. Man.

The only people apart of this movie who didn’t seem to inhale one ounce of them special-stogies, were it’s two stars: Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz. Both are amazing, but both attribute so much in their own, separate ways. Jackman is amazing in this role because no matter what suspicious activities he may try to pull off to pull his own ego, we know that he’s a good guy and would do anything for his wife, even if that meant putting his own life at risk. Within the past couple of years, we have all come to know and appreciate what Jackman’s been able to do as dramatic-force, but here, he really steps up his game and has us reel and feel for a dude that seems to deserve our sympathy. But he never begs for it, and that’s why this guy is so good at playing it straight and laced-up.

Weisz is also amazing in this role because she gets to show everybody why the hell it is that we love her so much, and what makes her character worth caring for. Not only is she a nice person, but she’s a very pleasant person that seems to want the best for her and her hubby. It’s a shame that her and Aronofsky aren’t together anymore, because if anything, it seems like he really knew how to film her and make her look as beautiful as she always seems to be. I’m going to miss their pairings. But who knows, maybe time will settle and they’ll reunite one more time. That’s if, James Bond backs out of the way. That sneaky, little devil him.

Consensus: Will most of you out there understand The Fountain from start-to-finish? Hell to the no! But will most of you at least get the general idea of what it’s trying to say, without understanding why? Probably, yes! It’s a very good movie that may bite off a bit more than it can definitely chomp down on, but Aronofsky’s ideas and themes, resonate with any person that has either loved someone, been loved, or cared for a person, ever in their life. If you’re not that person, just watch Requiem for a Dream. Then, you’ll smile and appreciate life, you heartless wretch.

8 / 10 = Matinee!!

"Look at the stars, honey. They remind me of life, all of it's beauty, and how we should live our lives. You know?"

“Look at the stars, honey. They remind me of life, all of its beauty and how we should live our lives. You know?”

Photo’s Credit to: IMDBColliderComingSoon.net

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41 responses to “The Fountain (2006)

  1. Anna (Film Grimoire) March 25, 2014 at 5:34 am

    I’ve never seen this one but have always meant to, since the imagery and themes of the film seem to be so beautiful. Great review of something that sounds pretty complex!

  2. Mike D March 25, 2014 at 6:13 am

    The film is the biblical story- I’d expand this but I doubt anybody would care…good read my man

  3. yyanchev March 25, 2014 at 6:44 am

    This is one of my all time favorites. But I always postpone my review about it because of the heavy topic discussed in it. Very good review, Dan!

  4. adamsturrock2014 March 25, 2014 at 11:40 am

    I have this down on my list of films to watch this year. It was a shame that it didn’t even make half it’s budget apparently (but it did receive nominations for its score).

  5. Brad March 25, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Wow. I might try it again. I couldn’t get through it when I tried to watch it in the past.

  6. Rich March 25, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    This has become one of my all-time favourites in the years since it came out, I like it more every time I re-watch it, and Clint Mansell’s score is just incredible

  7. Brittani March 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I still don’t understand this movie. lol Nice review!

  8. SnobofFilms March 25, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Nicely done, very hard film to critique. Like others I will have to revisit this one, I wasn’t in the right mindset when I went into it the first time. Aronofsky is a different type of animal and he flexed his muscles with this one.

  9. colinashby March 25, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I’ve never seen it. After reading the review I’m still not sure, I don’t understand it completely

  10. devnicsmith March 25, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    This is the only Aronofsky movie I don’t like, but I feel like I should give it another shot. I felt it was trying so hard to be this cerebral experience and it just didn’t connect with me. Granted, I didn’t fully understand all of it, but I totally agree with what you said about it being too big for his own ambitions.

  11. jeffro517 March 25, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    I’m surprised you gave this such a good score. I think it tried too hard to bring some deeper meanings out. Nicely written review.

  12. Three Rows Back March 25, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Really glad you liked this Dan. I loved it. Nice work.

  13. The Vern March 26, 2014 at 4:15 am

    I agree with your review. It’s pretty to look at, but I have no real clue what’s going on. The score by Clint Mansell is amazing btw.

  14. CinemaClown March 26, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I love this film. Aronofsky’s underrated masterpiece, in my opinion. Although repeated viewings kind of helps in this film’s case. Really good review though.

    Here is my take on it… If in anyway it helps clear some of your doubts :D :P

  15. pennylanelovesmusic March 27, 2014 at 4:48 am

    One of my all-time favorite movies, and definitely “Aronofsky’s underrated masterpiece”. I’ve seen it quite a few times and each one helps clarify, plus you pick up on little things. And Clint Mansell helps make it the film it is. Great review!

  16. Nostra March 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Might have to give this a rewatch. When watching it the first time it was confusing indeed and I didn’t latch on. Maybe a second go around makes me like it more.

  17. thomasjford March 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    This sounds way too confusing for me I think. Maybe I will give it a go one day, but I’m a bit dense when it comes to trying to wrap my head around complex movies.

    Is Aranofsky religious? A previous commentor called it the biblical story, and Aranofsky’s next movie is of course Noah.

  18. Victor De Leon March 29, 2014 at 12:46 am

    Need to get through this movie. I’ve started it about a dozen times and can never seem to finish it. I don’t really dig Darren whats his name too much anyway (I did like The Wrestler, though) but that damn score by Mansell is so epic. I think I’ll give it a re-watch based on your review. Thanks Dan, good job!

  19. bencebardos March 31, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    nice review! I really like ‘the film, agree with your rating, great imagery and amazing soundtrack. of course, I couldn’t explain everything either, it’s a bit of an unsolvable puzzle, but I guess it’s more like a surrealistic poem with recurring motifs and themes than an actual narrative waiting to be explained. I’ll definitely attempt to analyse it at some point though

  20. Evan Crean April 26, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I agree that this film is a lot better with bit of pot involved haha. It’s very heady and you’re right, perhaps a bit too ambitious for its own good. It’s still a really cool concept despite some of its well-traveled territory and Aronofsky makes it look really pretty. For me this was a perfect lazy afternoon kind of movie. Because I was relaxed when I saw it, I didn’t mind that it was a little bit confusing.

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