First off though, has blogger beta been a fuckin nightmare for anyone else, or is it just me? Goodness gracious. I can only ever log into this crap half the time and even then it takes me back to an old blog from 2004 sometimes. Thanks guys!
At any rate the fine people over at Not Coming had one of the better and fairer reviews of The Fountain I have read as of yet. Some money quotes....
Indeed, The Fountain is genuinely concerned with displaying the conflict between religion and science, with the present-day plot serving has Aronofsky’s most direct display of modern scientific practice, while the segments from other eras appear to be his musing on theological politics and spiritual tranquility. However, Aronofsky isn’t really interested in merely restating the simplified version of the argument and choosing sides. In fact, much like Aronofsky’s work on Pi, the director seems to view science as a means to achieve a greater understanding of our spirituality, but he also seems to believe our obsession with knowledge may cause us great torment and misery at our inability to comprehend the unknown divinity of life.
I find myself drawn towards stories with these sorts of themes. Was it too much studying of Philosophy at school? Is it that I find myself believing in the divinity of a life? I don't know. There are certain aspects of my own life that I find myself unable to fully comprehend or explain adequetely. For one, I'd love to give empirical evidence that my faith in a God is not misplaced. But I can not do so. That doesn't stop me from attempting to understand the most that I can of my faith and my relation to God. For me, I think there needed to be a point of letting go in my questioning of my faith for it to finally nourish itself completely. That isn't to entirely discard questions, as much as it is to not be obsessed by them. I don't think that wrestling for knowledge or doubting is the the opposite of faith. And I don't think science needs to be the opposite of religion either.
The one aspect that remains clear throughout all of Aronofsky’s filmmaking bravado is that he is convinced of the enduring nature of love within our infinite universe. Indeed it feels as if Aronofsky wholeheartedly believes love to be the only constant aspect within eternity and that his faith in that concept cannot be shaken. It’s the viewer’s reaction to this particular facet of the film and Aronofsky’s resolve that probably makes or breaks evaluation of Aronofsky’s efforts. Even if it’s disguised as a sci-fi film spanning centuries, at its emotional core The Fountain remains an earnest melodrama regarding a couple’s enduring love. Such sincere sentiment and genuine passion may be blissful for some, but I’m certain most will find such overtly emotional, almost maudlin, material to be downright awkward, if not embarrassing, within its sci-fi surroundings.
I've been thinking about this film far too much since I saw it on Sunday. But clearly one reason that it affected me so much is that I did not find the love story to be maudlin or akward in the overall story The Fountain was telling. As I said earlier and has been noted by this reviewer it is at the very core of the story.
So maybe that makes me a hopeless romantic. Those who know me well might just chuckle at that. So it goes.