The Fountain

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The Fountain
Review (5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

I recently read a review for The Fountain that suggested one required a bag of weed to watch this movie. I'm not much of a drug user but after seeing The Fountain, I would suggest just skipping right to the crack-cocaine or the heroin. I mean, this movie is just one big mind-"f" and when you've got a weak mind to begin with, well, let's just say you'll probably want to put your head throught a wall after watching it.

The Fountain basically focuses on three stories - one in the past where the character played by Hugh Jackman is some kind of 16th century Spanish warrior who fights an army of midget Mayans during his quest to find the Tree of Life; one is present times where Jackman is a medical researcher who experiments on monkeys using an extract from an exotic tree in order to find a cure for cancer and to save his wife, who has a tumour and is dying; and the final story where Jackman is bald, eating tree bark, drinking some white, gooey stuff, meditating and floating around in a big bubble, sort of like one of those big snow globes you shake at Christmas time to see the "snow flakes" falling. Rachel Weisz also stars in the movie as a Spanish Queen in the past story and Jackman's wife in the current story. The movie kind of jumps around the three stories and for the last twenty minutes or so, there is not a whole lot of dialogue, just a lot of floating and tree bark.

I understand that The Fountain is a movie about the deeper meaning of life, death, love and all that wonderful stuff, but I just didn't get it. I thought the scenes, the meanings, the characters were all not explained enough, or at least were too abstract for my liking. Visually, the movie was outstanding. Even the first twenty minutes I was really into it, really interested, but as the movie went on, I got more and more lost and by the last twenty minutes, I was pretty much a waste of a theatre seat. It went right over my head. Basically, this movie requires a lot of thinking and I've stated in many a review in the past, I'm not the sharpest knife in a drawer full of spoons. I know for a fact my brother quite enjoyed The Fountain. In fact, he even had a brief conversation with director Darren Aronofsky following a press conference and Aronofsky was estatic that he "got" his movie. Hell, even my brother-in-law enjoyed The Fountain. Not that he's a dummy or anything like that, but he lives in a place in Canada called "Timmins" and let's just say he's one of maybe a dozen people in the entire city who still has his own teeth. My point is that there are people out there who will like The Fountain and you don't have to necessarily be a PhD scholar to figure it out.

In the end, chances are, if you see The Fountain, my guess would be you are either going to love it or hate it. There's probably not going to be much in between with this movie. If you "get" The Fountain, then all the power to you. Even after my brother explained the movie to me, I'm still pretty confused. Don't get me wrong, it's not like The Fountain is one big cluster "f". There are parts of the movie that are quite entertaining and it is nice to see a movie that doesn't follow the Hollywood formula that we tend to see in so many movies nowadays. Unfortunately, this was just not a movie that a guy like me could thoroughly enjoy. I'm sure that a lot of people who see this movie, once it's fairly short 95 minutes running time is complete, will be looking for a closest wall to bang their head on or the closest drug dealer to buy a bag of whatever mind-altering drug they need to settle themselves down. It's just that kind of movie.

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