Inferno Reviews: The Fountain

In a movie industry that lacks major amounts of creativity, director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream) works against the grain and brings movie-goers his highly anticipated film, The Fountain. Although creativity is one of the more prominent things Aronofsky delivers, it fails to become the movie it should have been.

Placed across one thousand years, The Fountain is a story about love, spirituality, a heavy emphasis on death, and how frail our existence in this world is. Three stories, heavily laced together, are taking place simultaneous, revolving around Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz.

The first story takes place during the 1500s. Here, Jackman plays Tomas, a Spanish conquistador sent out by Queen Isabel (Weisz) to find the Tree of Life. The Tree, as described by the film, is the second of the two important trees God creates when the world was first created. After Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, the Tree of Knowledge was hidden from the world. Tomas fights to find it so he and his Queen can live forever.

The second story takes places in the present day. Jackman plays a modern version of Tomas, Tommy Creo. Here, he’s a veterinarian working to find a cure for death, essentially. This is all an effort to save his wife Izzi Creo (Weisz) from an unstated disease.

The final story revolves around the future Tom Creo, a cosmonaut of sorts living in a bubble. Why he’s in this bubble is only explained by the time period being in the future. However, like the other Toms, he’s fighting to keep Izzi alive. Within his bubble, the other two stories come and go, transporting the audience to the different time periods.

The major problem with the film isn’t that it makes almost no real sense, but that it’s sloppily told. A straight story of progression would have been boring, but this flashing back and forth and back again doesn’t work too well. Previously mentioned, they’re heavily connected, but are so too much for their own good. Because of this, the sense of “what if you could live forever” isn’t conveyed very well.

In a big year for Hugh Jackman (X-Men: The Last Stand and The Prestige, to name a couple), his acting is kept up well in The Fountain, although it’s tiresome. After some time, his being troubled gets relatively old. You have a sense of respect for him and what he wants to do for his wife, but the blubbering overshadows that. Weisz’s performance is also solid, but because of the cutting back and forth between stories, it’s recycled to an extent.

A repeated line in the film sums up what you’ll want about 30 minutes into the film: “Finish it.” To avoid spoilers, the meaning of the statement won’t be explained, but there will be a great need for this film to end for personal satisfaction. Aronofsky’s attempt to make a great film falls short. Boring and almost pointless, The Fountain is more of a wading pool of disappointment.