Mike Beversluis

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Fountain

I wanted to like Darren Aronofsky's latest movie The Fountain, but it's a cinematic doodle. It feels like an 2 hour-long dream-sequence from the Lord of the Rings, hosted by Moby, intermixed with 1492 and a more austere than usual chick-flick. And despite the spiritual pretension, it seems to come down to "If you're scared of dying, you'll see demons ripping your life away. But if you've made your peace, they're really angels, freeing you from the Earth." with a pantheistic flavor, e.g., the Inquisitor's freedom through death policy. (A loose end never tied up; Whatever happens to him?)

I suspect the major problem is that the film never really grounds itself in reality - for instance, in the way that all of the lose ends in the three time-periods aren't really resolved or connected at all - and so the whole thing comes off as hallucinatory instead of profound. So, if you want to see a magical-reality story about accepting death, albeit with elements of horror, I'd suggest Jacob's Ladder, the source of the above-quote, or in the less magical, more reality vein, Wit.

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