Don’t be fooled by the tagline “What if you could live forever?”–it’s a sappy catch into a transcendent movie. Aronofsky is known for Pi which, I felt, didn’t live up to the hype. The Fountain probes into a multi-layered vision of past-future-present in the life of a man (Hugh Jackman) and his love (Rachel Weiz). The story is far more complex and interwoven than Pi, and a blend of science, faith, and spiritual unity which exceeded my expectations. I worried often about how it would turn into a Reservoir Dogs moment, where the three stories would intersect and fall into a pedantic play on life itself being chaos with an established order, but instead it fell into a realm beyond this, somewhat like 2001: A Space Oddesey when the character finds himself in a house after being expelled from the spaceship–just when you think it’s over, it goes beyond expectations.
I don’t want to give too much away, as it’s just opened, but it reminded me of The Illusionist in it’s superseding the average with special effects that inspire awe and wonder rather than amazement or disbelief. It seems like these movies exceed the marketing team’s minds, as how they presented The Illusionist in the previews and trailers as some kind of superhero; I’m guessing they don’t have a niche to explain the combination of storylines and craft that went into The Fountain.