Movie Review of The Fountain ( also an explanation of the fountain)

27 Nov

The Fountain

Click here to watch the trailer

I recently saw the new Darren Aronofsky film (director of PI, Requiem for a Dream), “The Fountain” and I can essentially summarize it in a single word: beautiful.

The space scenes were done not with CGI, but with a microscope. They actually took microscopic bacterial and chemical reactions and filmed them, and THAT is the space scenes you see on screen. Thats very beautiful and creative.

It’s a very cerebral film, and requires a lot of thought. Much like 2001: A Space Odyssey or Solaris it is a thinking man’s science fiction film. After the viewing many people were confused, so below I have posted my interpretation of the film based on several days of careful analysis and thought.

It’s about a man, Dr. Tommy Creo (Hugh Jackman) who is a cancer researcher working specifically on brain tumors. His wife (Rachel Weisz) is dying of a brain tumor herself. The movie is at it’s core, a love story, but going deeper than that it examines what it is to die.

The movie has been described as a love poem to death, and I would agree to that on some levels.

I don’t want to say much else, other than that. Aronofsky created a film designed to get the viewr to think, and I would be doing a disservice by not allowing you to think. For those that have seen the film I have included below an analysis.

Spoilers! My interpretation of the movie

Ok,. after viewing the film I have come to a few conclusions. Here they are:

The 1500 Story line was not literal, it was Izzi’s book. The book ends right when the mayan shaman is about to decapitate
Tomás. Izzi dies before she can finish the book. She wants Tom to finish it for her. He never does.

The only literal story lines are the 2006 one and the 26th Century One.

What happens is, when Izzi dies, Tom has a new obsession. Conquering death. He states: ‘Death is a disease like any other, and I will find a way to cure it”. Tom goes on to develop the serum from the Guatemalan tree and cure humanity of death from old age.

In the scenes set in the future, the audience is led to believe that the Tree is Izzi in some fashion, and he is taking Izzi to the dying star to bring her back to life.

This is probably the most common misconception about the film. Your first clue that the tree is NOT Izzi is that every time Tom is talking to the tree, and he hallucinates that Izzi is there, he angrily tells her to go away, to leave him alone. If Izzi was the tree, Tom would be happy to see her, maybe reach for her longily. Again, this is not the case.

Basically, Tom is the last man. (the original title of the movie was ‘The Last Man’) Earth is gone, all humans are gone. He is the last human. He has with him, the last life tree. The tree is dying. Without the tree Tom will grow old and die. Tom is taking the tree to the dying star, on a theory that the energy expelled from the dying star will keep the tree from dying and give it new life. (this is verified in the graphic novel of the movie)

But, before he reaches the star, the tree dies. Tom is faced with mortality. He too, must die. Around this point, he suddenly becomes happy to see the Izzi hallucination. He tells her “Alright! I’ll finish it!” meaning he will finally, after 500 years, finish her book.

This is symbolized in the movie by Future Tom suddenly appearing in the past, in Izzi’s book. This shows now Tom is in control of the story.

He writes an ending thats hows he finally understands what it is to die. That if you die, you return to nature, you go on living as something else.

He tells Izzi “I’m going to die” but not in a fearful way, in a way that shows he finally gets it. That he must die. That all things die, planets, stars, solar systems, galaxies.

So the great irony is he was so fearful of death he began to obsess over living and essentially loving the Tree as much as he loved Izzi. As he journeyed to the star, full aware he might die, his mind wandered back to Izzi, to the events that gave him this obsession with death. Izzi reminds him of death, so whenever she appears in his mind he becomes angry.

As he dies, he remembers the past, realizing what he SHOULD have done..namely, spent time with Izzi while she was alive, rather than spend so much time trying to keep her from dying. Because once she was dead, he would never again get a chance to walk with her in the snow.

When Tom lost the ring earlier in the movie, it symbolized that he would soon lose Izzi in death. When he reunited with the ring at the end, it shows that he will soon be reunited with her in death.

Izzi said he would be Adam and she would be Eve. Instead of being the first man (adam) he became the Last man. The soundtrack of the film still retains the phrase “the last man”.

Beautiful film! I highly praise it and recommends all to think about what the movie is telling us after viewing it.


2 Responses to “Movie Review of The Fountain ( also an explanation of the fountain)”

  1. Anonymous December 8, 2006 at 2:49 am #

    Just thought you should look up the movie “Pan’s Labyrinth”, directed by Guillermo del Toro. I just watched it tonight (screener) and it was fabulous. -t.

  2. Anonymous January 3, 2007 at 3:26 am #

    Poop tastes good with apple sauce on rye

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