The Fountain is a difficult movie to write about. The plot centers on Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz but over the span of three separate, but intertwined, stories. The plot makes sense, it’s not too terribly confusing, but because of this it takes your full attention and then some to fully comprehend things.
The three story arcs are, in a basic sense, past, present, and future. Past is Mayan times, present is close to actual present, and future is the way-far-away future. Perhaps what makes things confusing is having Jackman play characters in all the story lines but perhaps that makes them cohesive.
Regardless of time period, Jackman plays a man on a mission to save his love and there is symbolism everywhere. The titular fountain is the fountain of youth, which for some reason ends up not being a fountain, but a tree (don’t worry that isn’t really a spoiler). Had this movie been called The Tree of Life it would be more appropriate, but I’m fine that Terry Malick decided to use that title instead.
If you can wrap your head around the plot the pieces of the puzzle fall into place as The Fountain progresses. Had a writer/director less talented than Darren Aronofsky helmed this movie then I can almost guarantee it would have been a confusing heap of nonsense. Luckily for us, it is a smart film.
I give it 3 tree hairs out of 5.