24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
For artists and cinephiles out there who appreciate a beautiful and well-thought concept.,
Around mid-2005, I spotted the cover of a graphic novel through the shop windows in a local bookstore. As an artist, I can't help but judge a book by its cover. The illustration was of a man with his back towards the reader, he had a tattoo of a dying tree on his back, and he was holding a woman in a sensual and loving embrace. And on her face was a look of calm. I felt myself drawn to this book so I walked in and picked it up to get a closer look. To my glee, I found out that it was a creative project from the minds of one of my favorite directors Darren Aronofsky, whose films lay alongside my selection of original DVDs (and I stress the word ORIGINAL) which I watch time and again. At the back of the cover, I read that apart from this novel the movie was also in the works. So, I paid a huge chunk of what I had in my wallet for the book, and went home dying to tear the book free of its plastic wrap.
After three hours, perhaps more, of reading and taking in the beautiful artwork by Kent Williams. I was already ecstatic about the film, but had a sinking feeling in my heart that told me it probably wouldn't be shown here in the Philippines because of the depth and scope of its concept (which I am sure only a small percentage of the Filipino population would appreciate). Late last year, I chanced upon another book about THE FOUNTAIN in the same shop I purchased the first book. This time, it featured still shots and artwork from the movie itself. So, for nearly two years, I waited for a trailer to pop up on the internet just so I could catch a glimpse of the movie until I could order the limited edition DVD (which I hope comes out soon). When that day came, I felt a mixture of excitement and frustration - excited because I was dying to see what visuals Aronofsky was going to pull out of his hat, and frustrated because I was SO sure that the movie wouldn't be coming to theatres near me. I was so revved up about it that I decided to do some promotional vendetta myself, to the extent of giving the graphic novels away for Christmas presents, and e-mailing my friends and loved ones abroad to go see the movie when it comes out.
And then one fateful day, I see the plug on HBO. Suddenly, I felt that there was hope of seeing the movie in the local cinema. If this movie was able to gain this much coverage prior to its release there was a huge chance that the local industry would be interested in picking it up for distribution. I WAS RIGHT! And what a perfect time to release it on Valentine's Day! I almost crapped my pants when a friend of mine told me that it was coming out in local theatres. Even though no one else I knew was as enthusiastic as I was to go see it, I went ahead and continued my promotional vendetta. Finally, after the books, the articles, the trailers and the waiting, I would finally be able to sit back and watch this spectacle on the big screen.
I must say, THE FOUNTAIN is a perfect example of surviving the test of time. Six years in the making, acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky brought this beautiful sci-fi epic love story to page and, finally, to the silver screen. Having captured the admiration of critics and cinephiles around the world with his award-winning debut feature PI and top-listing movie REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, Aronofsky unveils another stunningly visual film featuring the talents of actor Hugh Jackman and actress Rachel Weisz. I think the casting was appropriate as the movie was the perfect chance for them to showcase a deeper and darker side of them that audiences all over hadn't seen.
It is a timeless tale of a man's journey to conquer death and save the life of the woman he loves. THE FOUNTAIN intercuts among three different time periods and follows the struggles of one multiplicitous character. There is Thomas, a 16th century conquistador battling a fierce Mayan army in the heart of Central America seeking the mythic Tree of Life for his love, Queen Isabel. There is Tommy, a modern-day neuroscientists frantically in search of a cure for his dying wife, Izzy. And then there is Tom, a far future space traveler haunted by his past, hoping to uncover the secrets of a dying star that gives birth to new life. All three storylines converge into one painful reality - that he must come to accept the inevitability of death. Deep, timeless, and creatively executed, THE FOUNTAIN is a gripping story about love that transcends death, time and space.
Aronofsky once again adds his magical touch to the artistic aspect of this film. The use of monochromatic themes throughout the movie adds more gravity to the few scenes in the movie that do have color, such as the one where Weisz dawns a red strapless dress and the one where the a plethora of green engulfs the tree of life. By method of experimentation and masterful execution, Aronofsky lavishes this spectacle with wonderful transitions, well-composed shots and notable juxtaposition that would send chills down a film buff's spine.
And being the self-proclaimed cinephile that I am, I was the first person to get in the movie theatre and the last person to get out. Although only half of theatre was filled, it was interesting to see and hear the reactions of the people around me. Some, unfortunately, had found it hard to catch up. Some left the theatre a little confused. But most importantly, some left speechless and in awe. I loved it. I myself, was teary-eyed and at a loss for words. I most certainly recommend the movie to all you artists and cinephiles out there who appreciate a beautiful and well-thought concept. Definitely another addition to my selection of favorite films that I am bound to watch over and over and over...
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Initial post: Mar 8, 2007 5:34:49 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2010 3:19:51 PM PST
Bravo on your journey to accompany this dream project of Darren Aronofsky to its cinematic fruition!
I was there, too, in the first screening ( Glorietta 4) on Valentine's Day - being someone else who has been waiting for this film to come out since I read the first script review on AICN in 2004.
It is indeed a movie that stirs the imagination and touches the heart!
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