The first time I was introduced to “The Fountain” was through one of the many TV previews during commercial time. My first impression was that it appeared to be a film worth checking out. Although I consider myself to be a relatively big movie fan, I seldom have the opportunity to see a new release in theaters. Regretfully so, as I have come to find that the best movies, when seen on the big screen, are not even close to the same when viewed afterward on DVD.
As a result, I was unable to see “The Fountain” during theatrical release, but as is usually the case, some friends of mine did get the opportunity and told me that it was a good movie. I can’t usually take these recommendations to heart, because I have very unusual movie preferences, however, I was a little eager to check this movie out, and made it a point to rent it upon video release. When it made its way onto the shelves, I intended to rent it at my local video store, but as most of us are aware, sometimes our schedules get in the way. So I did something that I rarely do- I purchased the movie before watching it. I brought the movie to a friend’s house and we started to watch it, however, we shut it off about 30 minutes into it. I guess it just didn’t grab us and we were having conversations while the movie was playing. My first thought was that I made a mistake purchasing this DVD and that I should have saved my money and rented it first. But a couple days later I gave it a second chance, and was glad that I did.
The movie takes place in 3 different time periods: 1500 A.D., 2000 A.D., and 2500 A.D. The story revolves around a husband and wife, Tom and Izzy, Pinoy Tv played by Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz. Izzy is dying, and it is up to Tom, a doctor, to try to find a cure. Obsessed with this mission, he is neglecting his time with Izzy, who is busy writing a novel, “The Fountain,” about a man, Tomas, played by Jackman, who is on a quest given to him by Queen Isabel(Weisz) to find the Tree of Life in the 1500. By finding the Tree, anyone who drinks from its sap will have eternal life, thus, “freeing Spain from bondage.” When Izzy’s condition worsens, she is rushed to the hospital. Knowing that she doesn’t have much time, she tells Tom to read the unfinished novel.
What made me change my mind about this movie after viewing was that it fits into one of my favorite types of movies: movies that require more than one viewing in order to better understand it or to go back and catch elements of the movie that you may have missed. This movie will either leave you amazed or bewildered, with its constant skipping bacwards and forwards through time. Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of three distinct characters in three distinct time periods is impressive even to the average movie fan. Add to it an emotional performance by Rachel Weisz, stunning visual effects, and possibly one of the most intriguing yet unorthodox storylines, and it would be safe to say that this film ranks among the top in most film genres.