Fountain is an odyssey about one man's struggle to save
the woman he loves. His epic journey begins in 16th century
Spain, where conquistador Tomas Creo commences his search
for the Tree of Life, the legendary entity believed to grant
eternal life to those who drink of its sap. As modern-day
scientist Tommy Creo, he desperately struggles to find a cure
for the cancer that is killing his beloved wife Isabel. Travelling
through deep space as a 26th century astronaut, Tom begins
to grasp the mysteries of life that have consumed him for
more than a millennium...
be one of the most pretentious pieces of filmmaking you ever
witnesses - if you actually manage to watch the whole thing.
suppose I should have known what to expect. I'd already read
novel, and wasn't overly struck by that. But I
thought I'd come to this with a totally open mind.
to the press release the movie is set in three different time
Fountain examines the fragility of our existence in
this world through one couple's eternal love story and seeks
to discover whether it's really possible to live forever.
The story begins in 16th Century Spain as Conquistador Tomas
Creo is sent on a holy mission by Queen Isabel to locate
the Tree Of Life, which is believed to grant immortality
to anyone who drinks of its sap. With only the aid of a
cryptic map in the form of an ancient Mayan dagger, will
Creo discover the key to everlasting life and save New Spain
and its Queen?
2005, Tommy is a medical scientist desperately searching
for the cure to cancer in order to save his wife Isabel
who is battling the deadly disease. Tommy cannot face the
fact that Izzi is going to die and is wracked with guilt
as he tries to find a scientific breakthrough. She aches
for him to accept the inevitable, to spend her final days
with her and to find a way to embrace death as an act of
creation. However, will Tom find a cure in time or will
he join his wife in accepting that death is another part
through space in the 26th Century, Tom Creo finds a magical,
tranquil place amongst the stars that Izzi spoke fondly
of 500 years earlier. Using the Tree Of Life as a device
to unravel the mystery of death, he is faced with flashbacks
of his previous lives and amazingly receives guidance from
the woman he has loved for a millennium - but will this
experience end his search and allow him to finally embrace
I mentioned previously, I'd already read the graphic novel
and so I already knew what the plot was all about. But I sat
there, as the film unravelled, wondering if anyone else would
understand what on earth was going on. The futuristic segments,
supposedly set in a spacecraft, looked a little too retro
to me. What we end up with is Jackman, shaven headed, and
in a pair of pyjamas, sitting in the middle of a swamp underneath
a gnarly old tree... um... yes, that says futuristic spacecraft
and before you start e-mailing... yes, I did watch the featurette
which shows the designers explaining that they have designed
a spherical spacecraft because they want to be original...
and I laughed myself almost unconscious. That's baloney. They
designed it that way because of the budget. The graphic novel
has a standard metal spaceship, as did the original film that
was ditched before filming started proper - the new organic
space vessel design was simply a way of cutting the budget.
press release comes with two priceless quotes:
and one of the most moving and thought-provoking films of
the year - Empire
in, give it time, go with the flow and chances are you'll
be rewarded hundredfold - SFX
so Empire's reviewer didn't understand a bloody thing
that was going on "thought-provoking" is always
a dead give-away - it translates as "I'm still trying
to work out what it's all about - I didn't get it, but I don't
want to appear stupid."
SFX's reviewer also didn't get it, but is hoping that
by not committing him/herself either way that they will appear
to be of a higher intelligence than the average movie lover.
I get it (as much as I'm supposed to). But what I don't get
is why this film was ever made?
on screen relationship between Jackman and Weisz is stretched
to breaking point. They are both great actors, but they really
have to go the full distance to pull it off here.
also have the world's most unintentionally funny love scene,
when Weisz pulls Jackman, fully clothed, into her bath. With
saliva all over the place I couldn't help wonder why the passion
wasn't broken by one of them yelling: "Stop! Let some
water out. It's going all over the floor." Obviously
a moment badly inspired by that classic '80s Cadbury's Flake
TV commercial [click here
to see it].
fact, maybe director Nick Lewin should sue Darren Aronofsky
for plagiarism. Watch the commercial - it could almost be
a condensed version of The Fountain. No, wait. Go with
me on this. We have a short dark-haired woman in a very similar
bath tub, the water overflows and falls on a spherical glass
object (the space ship of the movie) there are also leaves
on the floor! Okay, maybe he just "borrowed" the
bath scene from there, and not the entire movie... but you
get my point.
a great tag line on the DVD box would have been: "Aronofsky's
The Fountain. The crumbliest, flakiest movie in the
world." No, maybe not.
(which thankfully don't include the director's audio commentary
as promised on the press release - I may just have slipped
into a coma if I'd been subjected to that) are almost as badly
handled as the main feature. There's a deleted scene (so ridiculous
I nearly lost bladder control - basically it's a long scene
of Jackman growing mushrooms in the futuristic spacecraft
and living off them as his main food source); a whole collection
of behind the scenes featurettes and an interview with Jackman,
where Weisz asks the questions - basically a great big love
truth, other than the lighting and photography, I can't think
of one good thing to say about this film. In summing up it
is a self-indulgent piece of crap. Thanks Aronofsky for stealing
two-hours (I sat through the extras too) of my life that I'll
never get back.
to give to someone you really, really hate.