The Fountain

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Dan, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. Dan
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    Dan Senior Member

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    Great, great movie, one of the best of the year, if not the best. That said, I can imagine that at least half the people that see it will absolutely hate it. It makes no attempt to stick to one genre (or one storyline, for that matter), and much of the pivotal things that happen plot-wise are done in such a poetic way, that it pretty much demands you think about it through the whole movie and for hours afterwards.

    Strangely, though, you walk away feeling like it's a very personal love story.

    The acting was great, as was the score, but the cinematography was the most mindblowing aspect. I'm not one for labelling movies "drug" movies, but this would most definitely be that. I felt like I was in an altered mindstate after I saw it. Aronofsky and his cinematographer deserve a lot of credit for this one.

    Mr. Conley, go see this soon, a movie like this demands to be discussed, and I don't want to spoil anything for you.
     
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  2. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    Glad to hear it's a great film. I loved Pi, one of my favorites. Weird and unlike anything else I've ever seen. Looking forward to it.
     
  3. Mr.Conley
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    Mr.Conley Senior Member

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    Wow, I'm sorry for the delayed responce. I thought it was an amazing, but complicated, movie. So many questions. Really, really good though. And tragic. The acting, especially by Hugh Jackman, was great. I could really feel his character. In a way though I felt Aronofsky rushed too much, he tried to spread the coverage of the three plot lines at the expense of some depth. And he probably could have added on a bit more to make it deeper. I ending really made it for me. Although even I'm a bit confused by it all. What did you think, especially about the end?
     
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  4. Dan
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    Dan Senior Member

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    It did feel sort of rushed in parts, yeah. It was pretty short, probably only 90 minutes, right? It could've easily been two, two and a half hours and I wouldn't have complained.

    OK, as for the ending....


    SPOILERS!!!!!!


    I think that the only "real" storyline was the modern-day one, with Rachel Weisz dying and Hugh Jackman trying to save her. The past storyline was connected, as it was happening in Weisz's novel, but I feel like the past and future storylines are meant to represent Tommy's inner struggle and eventual acceptance with mortality/immortality.

    In the past, Tomas is searching for the tree to give him immortality. This parallels Tommy's search for the right mix of medicine to save Izzy. To me, the future Tommy represents Tommy's mind after Izzy dies: he is trapped in his own bubble, and the tree, which is slowly dying, is all the hope for saving Izzy, which he came so close to doing.

    Tommy eventually realizes that the only way to find immortality is to die and be given back to the earth, to be reborn (like the Mayan Priest who grew into the tree in Izzy's story). He finds this when Tomas drinks the milk from the tree and all the flowers burst out of him, I think that represents him becoming "immortal" by becoming part of the earth. He realizes that in the future and desides to ascend into the dying star, to become one with the earth again, and immortal. This also sort of brings up the idea of reincarnation, and maybe every storyline is real, and these two people keep finding each other. Anyway, Tommy is finally able to realize the circle of life and death, a moment represented by the future Tommy appearing before the warrior in the past. Tommy gives up the quest for immortality (past) and accepts that we can only acheive "immortality" through death (future). All through the movie, the future Tommy hears Izzy's insistent "finish it", but once he makes this breakthrough, and she says "finish it", he says "I did". He knows how things have to end. And by planting the seed over Izzy's grave, he's written the final chapter in Izzy's book.

    Tommy's ring is a very important symbol, I think. When he first goes in to operate on the monkey, he removes his ring, symbolizing him deciding to deny the circle of life and death. At the end of the movie, just before the future Tommy dies, he puts the ring back on. He's ready to accept that circle now.
     
  5. Mr.Conley
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    Mr.Conley Senior Member

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    I agree with a lot of what you say, but disagree with other parts.

    For one, while I think the past story was just Izzy's perpective of the relationship. I felt that the past and future segments are both real. I believe that the future segment does represent Tom's struggle with death, but he concludes it there, not in the present.

    I agree, I think the main message of the movie is that death isn't what we think of, it's a part of the process of life. We don't really die, we just assume a different form of living. Again, this brings we to the real/unreal debate. I felt that when Tommy was planting the tree on Izzy's grave it was part of Tom's imagining what he should have done (just like when he ran outside to walk in the snow with her instead of heading to the operation).

    One problem I have with the imaginary future position is that Tommy is just so frustrated after Izzy's death. He walks away from the funeral, he can't listen to anyone trying to comfort him.

    I kind of agree with you on the ring. I think it holds true for the present and future parts, but it almost seems to play the reverse role in the past sequence. As a conquistador, Tomas receives the ring from Queen Isabella at the point he accepts the quest to find the Tree of Life. In effect he takes the ring as soon as he decides to challenge the cycle the ring stands for. Worse, he only loses the ring once he actually becomes "immortal" by joining the Earth. So, at least in the past, the ring plays the opposite role. However, I've developed a theory for this descripancy.

    The past storyline is really just Izzy's perspective of her relationship. Maybe here the ring symbolizes the relationship between Izzy and Tommy in addition to the circle of life and death. Isabella gives Tomas the ring, asking him to save her from death. At the time Izzy wrote this part of the story, she was probably still afraid of death (at least she was up until the bathtub scene). The story then focuses on how Tomas becomes so focused on saving her that he stops really interacting with her, as symbolized by Tomas' journey to the New World.

    In another way the symbol could represent Izzy's attempts to help Tom accept her death. Isabella might have given the ring to Tomas as a symbol of Izzy's frustrating struggle to help Tom come to peace with her death, as well as his death. She is giving him the key to understanding death.
     
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  6. Mr.Conley
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    Mr.Conley Senior Member

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    Wow, that makes no sense. Shouldn't have written that so late. I'm going have to edit it. Sorry.
     
  7. Dan
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    Dan Senior Member

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    No, it makes sense (at least as much sense as the movie in question, natch). I read this post late last night but didn't really feel like getting into it then, but it makes sense to me.

    This is interesting. So, do you think the past story was actually the story of Izzy's book, or just mainly going on in her head, or a little bit of both?

    If you think the future is real, do you think Tom took his cure, and thus became immortal? I can see that, too. That actually makes the story a little more poignant, as he is seeing the tree as the only thing left of Izzy.

    Actually, now that I think about it, the future being real actually makes a whole lot of sense. At the very end, we see Tom put a seed over Izzy's grave. When I saw it, I assumed that symbolized some form of resolution, but what if Tom did that, then took his own cure? Time passes, the tree grows, but Tom never gets over Izzy. Instead, he continues to be haunted by her, symbolized by him never finishing Izzy's book. The tree eventually dies, just like Izzy, which makes Tom go insane. I think you may be right on this one.

    This does make sense, but it certainly makes the ending a lot sadder. Then again, I can't say Aronofsky's never had a sad ending before (Pi was the closest to a "happy" ending, which it wasn't at all).

    I actually agree with everything else you said. Not much of a debate, I guess, huh?
     

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