The Fountain: Asking what is life and what is love

The Fountain (2006)

Death is the road to awe.

How many movies would contain that line? Visually entrancing, peppered with thought-provoking moments, and hauntingly scored by Clint Mansell and the Kronos Quartet, The Fountain is nevertheless far from flawless. I’ve watched it three times, and still feel the plot is in a shorthand known only to the writers. Writer/director Darren Aronofsky says the film is not meant to provide answers, but to raise the big questions: “trying to find out the reason of why we’re here and what is life and what is love. And what happens when you die. These are questions that people have been asking since the beginning of time,” says Aronofsky. Cinema that gets people thinking… I can’t criticize that. Some of my favorite moments:

Hugh Jackman’s conquistador faces eighty Mayan warriors, single-handedly charges them as he pledges, “I will not die, not here, not now, never!” I can’t but think how many countless warriors have died thinking the same thought….

Rachel Weisz laying in the hospital bed dying from a brain tumor describing how she felt during a seizure, “I wasn’t afraid. When I fell, I was full.”

Hugh Jackman’s astronaut’s weeping realization that, “I’m gonna die,” that delivers him (and all life) from the bondage of fear of death.

For me, the film is about facing death and transcending our fear. Others will see a story of eternal love, the resurrection of life through death, a psychedelic science fiction story, or even a muddled mess.

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