Saturday, January 26, 2008

Stardate 62069.43 - The Fountain

Cheryl and I finally watched The Fountain last night. Actually, I watched it and Cheryl dozed on and off during the movie. She tried to watch it, especially since I told her it was one of Jess' favorite movies in 2006, but she felt (and I agreed) that it was uneven in terms of pacing. During the "present day" segments the story was "gripping" (Cheryl's word), but the future story was slow. James outright hated it, and you can read his post and Jess' rebuttal here. Warning: James' entry contains significant spoilers, which I suggest you do not read before actually seeing the film.

This movie was by the same writer director (Darren Aronofsky) as Requiem for a Dream and Pi. Cheryl and I both watched Requiem and liked it a lot, and Cheryl watched Pi (and seemed to like it, as I recall). Here are my thoughts on The Fountain - as a work of art it was quite stunning. The visuals, the use of light and shadow, and the transition across the three time spans were all quite remarkable. The story was alright, and (at least for my poor brain) a little difficult to piece together. The movie was more a work of art than a film, if that makes sense. Cheryl felt the same way about The Fifth Element as I did about this film. I think by the end I had everything tied together, but I'm not sure that I was supposed to be trying to tie everything together into a logical narrative, and instead I should have just immersed myself in the art.

I think that people who see this film looking for some time of science fiction, time-jumping film will be disappointed. If you have seen the director's other movies then you will be better prepared for this film. If you watched any of the trailers and then went to see this film you'd probably be disappointed. If you want an experience that challenges you and is unlike any other film in recent memory, then you will enjoy this film. If you like film as art you will enjoy this film. I enjoyed this film, although I do feel like the pacing was a bit off as there were moments I was almost on the edge of my seat and others when I said out-loud to Cheryl, "This is a bit slow". I'm glad I watched it and I enjoyed it, although not in the same way I enjoy "traditional" films. It is really hard to put into words the experience - you'll just have to watch it and decide for yourself. I think Jess' roommate had it right when he described Requiem as "it affects different people different ways".

I really did like the movie, but more for the art of the film making and the experience of watching it, and less as a "traditional" narrative/film.

I still give it a thumbs up.



JamesF said...

What was Cheryl's final verdict?

CAPT_Sawyer said...

I don't think she was awake enough to have a verdict, but the fact that she fell asleep during the film (multiple times) means at best she gives it a thumb sideways.

Dave said...

I saw The Fountain while it was still in theaters. I, personally, really enjoyed the movie, and probably rank it in my top 10 of all time. Something Jess said prior to my seeing it also helped. She said that while the trailers made it out to be a kind of epic movie, it was in reality a very small, personal movie. I went to see it alone and watched it with an open mind. I left the movie wanting to talk about it with someone, so Jess became my sounding board via email. At the end of the day, it's a story about dealing with mortality, and I think the 3 stories woven together are just a tool to examine that human condition, and if you get too caught up in how the space ship works, your missing the point. Also, there's a lot more to be absorbed in a second viewing of the film. That being said, I understand it's not for everybody, and that's why I don't recommend it to too many of the people I know.

Because a lot of the people I know think Michael Bay rawks.

Cheryl said...

I saw this move a few months ago and remember thinking it was not at all what I was expecting and that I probably really need to watch it again. It kept me interested but at times it seemed a bit out there (my mind can only absorb so much), but it is was a thumbs up for me.