The fountain of youth, a sense of adventure for the ages. Sure, the conquistadors of years past lost their lives looking for it. And we are still looking for it -- the way to cheat death and live forever. "The Fountain" takes three stories, all featuring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz, overlays them into one and the audience is left to deal with the parallels.
To even try to describe the movie is a difficult task. "The Fountain" has emotions at its center and a story moving out from it. Jackman plays Tommy Creo, a scientist trying to find a cure for brain tumors. Weisz plays his wife Izzie, a woman suffering from a brain tumor that has left her without fear of death and hot/cold sensations.
She's written a book called "The Fountain," about Tomas, a Spanish conquistador, sent by the Queen to find the fountain of life in the middle of the Amazon. Tommy sits down to read the book, but it's not finished. Izzie keeps telling him that he needs to finish it and he refuses to give in to her morbid wishes.
Hovering above all is Tom, an astronaut or a being from another world. He lives in a bubble with a living tree. He's haunted by the modern day Izzie and she keeps whispering "finish it" and he gets dragged back and forth between what seem to be a mixture of memories and hallucinations.
All the stories are tied together, but through the modern day story. The book and the memories belong to Tommy, and he's a tormented soul.
"The Fountain" begins its journey in the midst of all three stories, leaving the audience to figure out where each story begins and ends until the movie just comes right out and explains what is going on. There are scenes that repeat, unchanged at several points throughout, like a scene that has Izzie asking Tommy to go on a walk with her since it's the first snow of the winter and he says he's too busy.
Writer/director Darren Aronofsky's creation takes patience to watch, therefore those people expecting a movie only about the fountain of youth will be a little more than disappointed with how much time is spent in the 16th century.
Aronofsky's continual jumping between the stories will also take a certain level of stamina. He only lets on so much in a particular scene, it takes the whole movie before all the puzzle pieces are in place and that can be disheartening.
Jackman and Weisz play their many roles well, especially Jackman. However possible, Aronofsky has made Jackman look rather unlike himself. For his role as Tom, Jackman was made to go bald and for Tomas he became hairier than he's even been in a movie. Weisz also goes through a few transformations -- a short haircut for Izzie, prim and proper for the Queen and she's personified as a tree in the future.
"The Fountain" is nothing short of beautiful though. The cinematography uses close up shots of all the characters, so that they are the focal point of a particular scene. There's no where else to look on the screen except at the tight shots of Jackman or Weisz.
When the pulled back, the scenes are nothing short of beautiful, particularly in Tom's scenes. He's floating in space, in the middle of a nebulas, which is a gold color. Obviously these scenes are primarily computer generated, but the colors are outstanding.
But the overall message involves coping with life, death and living forever. Each of Jackman's characters needs to cope with the fact that they cannot save their love. Tommy's approach to death is stunning: "Death is a disease, and there's a cure. And I will find it." Of course, no one knows the cure, but the intensity Jackman injects into his scenes makes you believe he can.
Originally from Des Plaines, Ill., Heather moved to Milwaukee to earn a B.A. in journalism from Marquette University. With a tongue-twisting last name like Leszczewicz, it's best to go into a career where people don't need to say your name often.
However, she's still sticking to some of her Illinoisan ways (she won't reform when it comes to things like pop, water fountain or ATM), though she's grown to enjoy her time in the Brew City.
Although her journalism career is still budding, Heather has had the chance for some once-in-a-lifetime interviews with celebrities like actor Vince Vaughn and actress Charlize Theron, director Cameron Crowe and singers Ben Kweller and Isaac Hanson of '90s brother boy band Hanson.
Heather's a self-proclaimed workaholic but loves her entertainment. She's a real television and movie fanatic, book nerd, music junkie, coffee addict and pop culture aficionado.