Two nights ago I started watching The Fountain. It’s been directed by Darren Aronofsky, same director as Requiem for a Dream and The black Swan, which is currently showing in cinemas. It stars Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz and is described as romantic drama set in a contemporary/historic/eternal setting filmed by merging fantasy and science-fiction styles. I really like films that play on plot, time lines and expectations of what and how a film should be told. We are so used to the hollywood style of dramatisation and how many of us really watch that many European films? The visuals are stunning and I wished that I had seen it on the big screen.
There is something about the film that feels wrong or is it because I fall asleep every time I try to watch it because the plot and tempo is so slow? It is very rare for films to be visually interesting and have a good storyline. It seems like it is always or mostly one or the other that suffers. It just becomes more apparent when the visuals outdo the story line because the craft of a director is to tell a story and carry forth a coherent narrative. The narrative is not complicated (3 times lines being told simultaneously) but it feel weak. Is there not enough historic detail to make it believable? Is it supposed to be a dream? is that the reason the film feels vague?
Or does Rachel Weisz’s moaning and dying just bore me to tears? That said it is a beautiful thought-provoking story – I just wish it wasn’t so pretentious because I normally love this type of story.
Orlando is one of my favourite films and it spans several hundred years too. It was awarded an Oscar for best costume drama and had spectacular scenery. Tilda Swinton’s performance was breathtaking, thought-provoking mixed in with a great sense of humour. Then again Orlando was based on a piece of fiction written by Virginia Wolf – The fountain was based on a film script therefore by its nature written to be seen and not experienced. They both address issues of mortality but where Orlando cleverly deals with issues head on and learn from them The Fountain is a long beautiful pain feast!