Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The Fountain (2006) - Darren Aronofsky

Having never seen an Aronofsky film before, I had no idea what to expect when I started up The Fountain. But what a surprise! This film is superb and well worth a view.

The film is essentially the tale of Tommy (Hugh Jackman), a medical scientist, trying to save his cancer stricken wife Izzy (Rachel Weisz) from near death.  This is juxtaposed with two other storylines: a conquistador sent by his Queen to search for Eden and a traveler floating through space in a bubble (no, really...). Aronofsky uses visual motifs to link the three tales together, each played by the same actors, as well as colour symbolism, but contrasts them through the use of shapes - squares, triangles and spheres respectively.  This makes for a visually impacting film - the use of macrophotography for the space scenes is particularly beautiful. The three storylines combine to consider different aspects of mortality, the essence of humanity, and the consequences of eternal life - themes I was left to ponder long after the film finished.

The performances are also excellent.  The film becomes a showcase for Jackman's acting ability and he proves he is capable of more than jumping around as Wolverine (though still plenty of facial hair).  Weisz also succeeds in her tragic role, looking beautiful (as ever).

Some may find the film a little pretentious, but I couldn't help but be sucked into it's thought provoking narrative.  Now I'm off to watch Requiem for a Dream....