Ahoy, squirts! Quint here! Goddamn me for missing the Fantastic Fest screening of this movie. I'm so jonesing for this movie and now I'm doomed to months of torturous waiting. What the hell was I thinking? Enjoy this completely head over heels in love review from "Primevortex," who saw it at the Vancouver FF (a really good fest, actually. In 2001 I attended and it was there that I first stumbled upon the genius of Takashi Miike)... Have at it!!!
I just came from watching a finished, full version of Aronofsky’s ‘The Fountain’ at the Vancouver film festival. Let me just start by saying that this is not a film everyone will like and even people that are looking forward to it might not like what they see. But those who expect a mental fuck job and are keen to let layers reveal themselves to them will be rewarded, nay- richly rewarded and maybe like me, you might walk out of the theater quivering a bit with realizations and the meaning of it all and what it means to you personally. I really don’t know what Warner Bros makes of this and how they are going to market it, so far they have been cautious. The teaser and trailer reveal the bare basics, not enough to let you know what the story is but perhaps an idea. The film is at its core, a love story and a sci fi drama. I’ve read somewhere that it is being called a 2001 with heart. Aronofsky delves into somewhat the same, if a bit different cerebral territory of PI and he even uses different stylistic elements to propel the narrative, layering and adding subtle visual clues to give us an idea of things as they are happening. You will see a lot of hidden clues laid throughout. There are certain parts, when they click as you realize what’s happening on screen, sends shivers down your back, and at least to me it did. Concept, theme and imagery are so well done in this movie that it should at least be nominated for Editing in the big one. All the rumors you heard about the development hell, the many years Aronofsky spent thinking and working on this movie are all worth it. A movie seldom comes that manages to answer or state an eternal human truth in a mystical fashion which also happens to be deeply spiritual. For a low budget of $35 mil (down from the original scheduled $75 mil) some of the effects, primarily in the future sequences are stunning and actually add to the narrative rather than be there for a cool-bang-action reason. The story is complex, but in a way many nudges and hints are given for the mass audience to piece it all together. In fact, I would say some of the nudges and hints are spoon fed. That is the only one weakness I would find in this movie. Sometimes too much of a ‘comfort wrap up’ for my liking. It’s surely worth a second viewing if not multiple ones to let the intensity of meaning settle in. The Fountain has quite a polar reaction one feels to, say –Requiem. Where that movie makes you feel horrible at the end, The Fountain makes you feel enlightened to a realization akin to one coming out of a trance or meditative state. This is, without a doubt, one of if not the best piece of work Jackman has done. To watch him carry this film is pure pleasure. I can never again see him only as Wolvie anymore. Rachel Weisz is stunning as always but for me she could have been better. Mind you, it’s Jackman we are watching mostly and he gets the best scenes. A surprise was seeing Ellen Burstyn in this film. I didn’t know she was in it. Burstyn is good with the short amount of work given to her here. As is, Ethan Suplee and Sean Patrick Thomas. There isn’t enough to gush about this movie. The cinematography, at times is breathtaking and the score by Kronos Quartet is haunting. Clint Mansell deserves top nods though it isn’t Requiem quality. I cannot wait to see more films made by Aronofsky. If this is the type of stuff he plans to expand on or make movies like these, then some of us are going to have a very wet cinematic dream for some time to come. I think most people have to see this film. I can’t say any more then that. Harry, if you decide to use this, call me Primevortex