The Greatest Movie I Ever Saw – “The Fountain”
Over time, Darren Aronofsky has worked his way into being one of my three favorite active directors in the film industry. That being said, “The Fountain” remains his greatest work, in my opinion. The movie is absolutely stunning in every way, and demonstrates the kind of magic that can be produced in the cinema.
There are movies that entertain the viewer while they are in the theater but then are immediately forgotten once out the theater doors, and there are movies that provide beautiful visuals without an intriguing plot. Then there are the films that leave the audience speechless, awe-struck at what they had just witnessed. These films redefine what we think is possible in cinema and have an aura about them that makes them impossible to grow tired of. “The Fountain” is wholly within this third category, providing an example for future filmmakers as to how to put care into crafting each individual part of a film in order to create an experience so enthralling.
Firstly, “The Fountain” has an exceptional plot – one of the best I’ve experienced in any form of media. The story consists of a man’s struggle around his wife’s illness, presented across three settings over the course of one thousand years. There are so many little details that enrich the plot and a breadth of symbolic points that bring an incredible amount of depth to the story. Trust me when I say that I have seen the film close to ten times, and each time I pick up on something new to further enhance my enjoyment of the plot.
This is not to say the plot is overly complex to the point of becoming incomprehensible. There is quite a straight-forward story here with a heavy layer of symbolism that gives life to certain parts of the characters. I’m going to stop here, because to go more in-depth would potentially ruin the experience of going into the film with no pretenses and just letting the plot work its magic.
Moving on, the film itself is absolutely beautiful. Each timeline has its own unique design, and some of the visuals are just drop-dead gorgeous. The amount of work that went into crafting such creative worlds is admirable, and it certainly pays off, as there are few movies that have come close to amazing me the same way this film’s visuals have. Darren Aronofsky continues to be a director with an extremely ambitious mindset, crafting some highly unique pieces through creative cinematography.
To further round out the experience, “The Fountain” has a phenomenal soundtrack, perfectly capturing each time period’s mood, while still having pieces that connect the overall experience. The music is stunning throughout the whole films, and not only fits, but enhances many crucial scenes. I will avoid spoiling the scene, but the final scene of the “futuristic astronaut” timeline features some brilliant musical work – one of the best pieces I’ve experienced in a film, triggering an intense emotional response from the viewer throughout the final movements.
Speaking of emotional responses, Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz provide some excellent acting work. The emotion put forth by the duo makes the story quite moving, causing the viewer feel a part of the struggles and quests of each character. Hugh Jackman delivers the best performance of his career, in my opinion, bringing life to the character of “Tommy”. The fear and desperation “Tommy” feels are quite poignant and bring the same emotions into the viewers who feel like they are struggling right alongside of him.
To say “The Fountain” is an excellent film would be an understatement. This film is truly a one-of-a-kind experience that any movie lover should enjoy at least once (preferably a few times to see how much depth the plot has). I remember my first experience with this film, watching it 3 times within 36 hours because it was just so enthralling and begged for multiple viewings. I have yet to experience anything quite like “The Fountain”, and as such, “The Fountain” remains the greatest film I ever saw.