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Cinephile Report @ TIFF - The Fountain

It's been six years since director Darren Aronofsky brought to the screen the controversial and captivating "Requiem for a Dream", and the question most people have on their minds is, if his newest film was worth the wait. After years of troubled scripts, studio shifts and even one time lead Brad Pitt dropping out after filming more than half the script, "The Fountain" finally had it's debut as a part of this year's TIFF program.

The film centers on Tom Verde (Hugh Jackman) who works as a pioneering cancer researcher fighting for the cure to save his wife Izzie (Rachael Weisz) who is slowly dying from a brain tumor. Izzie meanwhile is exploring her own mortality through the writing of a book entitled "The Fountain" about a Spanish conquistador searching for the Mayan Tree of Life in order to defeat the menacing Inquisator and live forever with the Queen he loves.

Izzie's novel ties closely together with the reality around her and allows for the film to explore it's unique narrative structure. Even with solid performances by everyone involved in this film it is not an actor's dream script like Requiem but springs to life on it's concept and execution alone. With unarguably gorgeous cinematography in every frame and an amazing score by longtime Aronofsky collaborator Clint Mansell, the film oozes with an other worldly mood totally it's own.

I know this is not a film for everyone and some will probably dislike it or be confused by it's methods. This doesn't mean that this film is bad at all but like Aronofsky first feature Pi some audiences will shutdown at it's twisted sometimes perplexing spiritual take and some critics will certainly scoff at it's grandieur but you shouldn't let that stop you from seeing this film.

The Fountain like recent films "Adaptation", "Me and You and Everyone You Know" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" weaves a tale of romance in a bizzare way seldom seen on screens today. Out of all those examples it is however certainly at the bottom of the list but with 2006's lack luster offerings, I was glad to take a refreshing plunge into this film. If you are looking for a non traditional way to engage with love and loss at the movies then this is the perfect ticket for you.


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