Aronofsky’s Beautiful Fountain

Aronofsky’s Beautiful Fountain

Static Mass Rating: 5/5

Release Date: May 28th, 2007
Certificate: 15
Running Time: 96 minutes

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Ellen Burstyn, Mark Margolis, Stephen McHattie, Fernando Hernandez, Cliff Curtis, Sean Patrick Thomas, Donna Murphy, Ethan Suplee

The term “visionary director” gets bounced around a lot these days, but in the case of Darren Aronofsky, it’s really true. Here, we have a director whose films are so challenging you need more time for your eyes, your ears and your mind to absorb it all, as was the case with Pi (1998) and Requiem For A Dream (2000) and is certainly to be the case with the eagerly awaited Black Swan (2011).

Originally set to be filmed in 2002 on a budget of £70 million with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, production was shut down after Pitt walked out on the project. With only half of the budget 3 years later, Aronofsky was able to pick up the project again and cast new leads Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz.

The Fountain (2006)

Spanning a millennium, The Fountain weaves together 3 stories, one from the time of the Conquistadors, the second from the present time and the third from the far future in an ecosphere journeying through deep space. Aronofsky’s vision of these three very different time periods are so vivid and is heightened by the sensitive score created by Clint Mansell. As Hugh Jackman’s character embarks on a quest for his queen, played by Weisz, he is lead to the Tree of Life and his experiences there result in a journey through eternity where only one thing remains constant; he must protect what he loves.

While the effects and imagery are stunning in this movie, they never detract from the presence or emotion of the actors in the scene, a feat rarely achieved in such movies, but Aronofsky manages to pull it off effortlessly here. Whether its the pulsating tree and beneath it Hugh Jackman in the lotus position or in the snow covered landscape planting a seed in memory of Isabel, nothing is wasted, everything is as it should be.

Despite losing half of his budget and his first choice lead actors, Aronofsky refused to give up on what he felt so passionately about, and like the character in his film, his journey might not have been what he expected and took him further than he imagined, it’s hard to think how it could have been any other way seeing the finished result. While there may be similaries with 2001: A Space Odyssey and Solaris, The Fountain manages to stay afloat on it’s own while sprouting its own blend of existentialism and spiritual thought (for those who are so inclined to it!).

The Fountain (2006)The Fountain (2006)The Fountain (2006)

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“Our bodies are prisons for our souls. Our skin and blood, the iron bars of confinement. But fear not. All flesh decays. Death turns all to ash. And thus, death frees every soul.” ~ Grand Inquisitor Silecio

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