The Foun­tain

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv - Sharon Fowler

DAR­REN Aronof­sky’s The Foun­tain tra­verses time, space, his­tory and spir­i­tu­al­ity in an am­bi­tious, thought­pro­vok­ing, yet ul­ti­mately er­ratic film. Hugh Jack­man and Rachel Weisz play lovers in three in­ter­twined sto­ries. In the first, Jack­man is Tommy Creo, a sci­en­tist fix­ated on find­ing a treat­ment for the brain tu­mour af­fect­ing his wife, Izzi. She, in turn, is ob­sessed with find­ing mean­ing in death. As Tommy toils in the science lab, she pens a story span­ning the Span­ish courts of the 16th cen­tury and the Mayan king­dom of Me­soamer­ica. Here Jack­man is To­mas, a con­quis­ta­dor in search of the tree of life, with its prom­ise of im­mor­tal­ity for his Span­ish queen, Is­abel. In the third story, he is a space trav­eller in a bub­ble, drift­ing to­wards a dy­ing star in some in­de­ter­minable year, en­vi­sion­ing his lost wife, sus­tained by the bark of a sin­gle tree. Two of Aronof­sky’s ear­lier films — Pi , about a man’s search for mean­ing in the­o­ret­i­cal math­e­mat­ics, and Re­quiem for a Dream , about ad­dic­tions — were com­pelling cult films. In The Foun­tain , Aronof­sky is again drawn to hu­man ex­tremes, with To­mas- Tommy’s quest to man­age life and cheat death. Sup­port­ing ac­tor Ellen Burstyn, who plays a se­nior sci­en­tist in the present- day story, is ter­rific, while Jack­man gives an ab­sorb­ing and mem­o­rable per­for­mance. The Foun­tain is in­trigu­ing and fre­quently gor­geous to look at. But the nar­ra­tive is con­vo­luted and the con­clu­sion sur­pris­ingly pre­dictable.

EX­TRAS: None

Fox ( fea­ture runs 96 min­utes) Rental

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