This is another item my husband found and knew I would like: “The Fountain,” (2006) starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz, directed by Darren Aronofsky (who also wrote the screenplay, and conceived the story with Ari Handel). The casting alone would be enough to interest me in the movie, as I admire both actors. They convey the intensity and tenderness of their characters in a way that invites identification.
This story is really three stories, woven together to convey one idea. There is the conquistador, Tomas (Jackman), who travels to Central America to find the Tree of Life for his beloved queen, Isabela of Spain (Weisz), who is being beseiged by the Inquisitor. There is the drug researcher (Jackman), fighting against time to find a cure for a brain tumor before it kills his beloved wife (Weisz). And there is the holy man (Jackman), traveling to the Mayan heaven, which is a dying star, and trying to make sense of all he has learned. A very special tree figures in all three stories, and in this last story the holy man may be the character’s Higher Self. All three stories come together to help Jackman’s character understand the meaning of death.
This is not a movie that plainly gives answers. It gives hints and visual clues, and then leaves it to the viewer to figure out. When we watched it the first time, we agreed it is a “strange movie.” It wasn’t until the next morning, as I was musing upon it after waking up, that the story made sense for me. I wanted to watch it again.
It is rated PG-13 (for “some intense sequences of violent action, some sensuality and language”), and runs 96 minutes. I don’t see it as appealing to popular taste, but it definitely makes you think and is well done. I give it 4 stars.