Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Movies: The Fountain

If there was a reward for "Most Pretentious Filmmaker," one of the nominees would have to be Darren Aronofsky. And that's not "pretentious" in the wholly bad, snotty sense, either - Aronofsky's movies, whether hits ("Pi") or misses ("Requiem for a Dream") do at least try to be something different, which is a gutsy move for any filmmaker. It's a shame, then, that "The Fountain" remains yet another failed opportunity.

On paper, it's the perfect indie art film. Three parallel stories (a Spanish Conquistador searching for the fountain of youth, a researcher looking for the cure for his wife's cancer, and an astronaut in the far future) that may or may not be connected, lots of striking images, and plenty of religious imagery (hell, a bald Hugh Jackman meditates in a lotus position). This is the kind of movie that is bound to have production and marketing difficulties - is it sci-fi? A drama? Romance?

The movie moves along briskly enough and has some nice emotional moments (Jackman turns in a good performance here), but in the end, the playful nature of cause and effect and the deeper ruminations about what it means to live and die simply don't resonate like they should.

Rating: 6/10


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