The Fountain

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It seems that most of my favorite films are movies that are very ambitious and generally poorly reviewed.  My new favorite film is The Fountain, which is an epic sci-fi film starring Hugh Jackman. 

I am understanding that my current favorites have a common theme: each one of them is more of an abstract movie with multiple interpretations, not just a point a to point b cliche movie.

I want to dive into The Fountain more and explain why I like it so much, but I think I'm going to reflect on it a little bit longer before I post my thoughts so they will make more sense.

Ok, I have waited a few days and I am ready to attempt why I like this movie so much. It's central philosophy is one that I disagree with, so that makes it even stranger that I like it as much as I do. I don't have to agree with it to appreciate it's beauty.

The movie is set in three different times and places, spanning a thousand years. There are three plot lines that are loosely connected. 

Plot one finds Thomas the conquistador searching for the tree of life to free Spain from oppression and to save the life of Queen Isabella. 

Plot two is about a scientist named Tommy who is working frantically to find a cure for his wife's Izzy's brain tumor. 

Plot three takes place in a futuristic spaceship that looks like a bubble. Future Thomas is trying desperately to get the tree to this nebula called Xibalba so that it can be reborn, so that it can be saved from death.

The movie is about the idea that everything is connected, that life is transitory, that everything is one in a sense. Each plot finds Thomas trying to save Izzy from death, only to find that death is unescapable. What is great about the movie is the way it unfolds. The entire time, it is unclear if any or all of the plots are really happening. The central plot seems to be plot two, the one set in the present. There is something wholly beautiful about the idea that everything is connected, as revelations flow from plot line to plot line. The effects are wonderful and the acting is great. Overall, a magnificent, scattered, and abstract movie.

1 comment:

Landon said...

Like you said, the movie leaves ample room for interpretation. I love to hear what other's take from the film. I personally interpreted the film to challenge our limited understanding of 'life' through the lens of our limited mortality. I loved the analogies of the 'Tree of Life' & 'Fountain of Youth' that have appeared in literature throughout the ages, proving themselves an icon in all of humanity.

Thomas, our 'Conquistador', is a very real projection of modern day society in his attempts to prevent aging & regarding death as a desease. He is constantly waging war against the inevitable, to the point that he misses out on the beauty that was right before his eyes. What a potent message this portrays to us western thinkers, always fighting to get ahead. Forever driving for wealth & affluence in this life, until we realize we have been missing the very thing life has been offering us all along.

The awe-inspiring imagery & moving cinematography, coupled with spectacular acting engage the soul on so many levels. Superior intellect &/or artistic prowess are not prerequisites to finding meaning from this film. I too hold The Fountain to the highest regard.