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:: The Fountain

This release has been a long-winded process for director/writer Darren Aronofsky. It centres on the theme of man’s quest for immortality. Yet it ends up too convoluted; not as riveting as his previous efforts like “Requiem For A Dream”. He sets the romantic fantasy amongst three interlocking strands over ten centuries.

The film is about love and emotion as Tom Creo (Hugh Jackman), a doctor-scientist, is frantically working on an experimental cancer treatment for his wife Izzi (Rachel Weisz). She seems tranquilly resigned to her fate, but he wills himself to fins an answer. To him, death is merely a disease to be cured.

In racing against time, Tom can’t understand her obsession with the 16th century Spanish exploration story that Izzi has been writing, “The Fountain”, whose conquistador hero (also played by Jackman) is charged by Queen Isabella (played by Weisz) to find the source of eternal youth in America. Izzi wants Tom to finish the last chapter of the book for her, which he’ll do in another century.

It’s to be noted that five years ago, Aronofsky cast Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett in the lead roles, but creative differences between Pitt and Aronofsky saw the film put on hold, while Pitt went on to do “Troy”. Then, with a smaller budget, Jackman and Weisz got the roles.

Overall, this psychedelic film is laced with material that may be hard for audiences to digest, let alone believe. The story overreaches, seemingly digestible by symbols and ideas. There is certainly no lack of ambition on Aronofsky’s part. It is positively laden with sentimentality and the cinematography is expressive and grandiose. Viewers may never see a film quite like this again.