Saturday, 15 September 2007

The Fountain

The Fountain, by Darren Aronofsky (who directed the incredible Requiem for a Dream) was just released on video and needs to be highlighted here because it’s the best “missed it at the cinema” film I have seen in a very long time. It is not, however, a film that’s easy to understand or to describe. Is it a science fiction film? For those of us watching it here, the film worked at a variety of levels and our conclusion was it didn’t matter whether it all took place in 2006 or not. That’s the most amazing thing about this film. It is a haunting beautiful love story that works brilliantly regardless of how you understand what happened. But only if you leave the left side of your brain at the door; if you are expecting a piece of linear storytelling that you can figure out, stay away.

Hugh Jackman has never come close to an acting performance as good as his leading role in The Fountain, and the ever-engaging Rachel Weisz does a very fine job as his wife. But the film’s real stars are its stunning and gorgeous cinematography and the absolutely spot-on score. The combination of these with a story that looks at life and death and love in an incredibly thoughtful and intelligent and passionate way makes for a film that can be watched and enjoyed and discussed again and again.

This film was Gareth Higgins’ favourite film of 2006 and would certainly have made my top five had I seen it last year (which I deeply regret not having done on the big screen).

The Fountain was panned by many critics because it was deemed to be incoherent and I think they were expecting something different, something that made sense. So they just didn’t get it and treated it as a silly mess. In my opinion, it’s the same reason most critics failed to appreciate my favourite film of 2006: Perfume. You’ve got to appreciate films for the amazing stories they are, not for what you want them to be. This remarkable film can only be described as a great work of art and deserves no less than ****. My mug is up and filled with the very best (with cream).

1 comment:

  1. Hi Vic, The Fountain has finally made it to German tv, so I'm looking forward to watching it tonight with the right side of my brain, given your positive review.