©2006 Warner Bros.
Death is the road to awe.
In the movie The Fountain (written and directed by Darren Aronofsky) , three stories are told, each story represents the past, present and future lives of one man (Hugh Jackman). Each story, separated by five centuries each, is essentially about one man and the woman he loves (Rachel Weisz). Both Jackman and Weisz do phenomenal jobs with each of their roles. It is a very moving piece about love and life.
In 16th Century Spain, Tomas (Jackman) is a Spanish conquistador who is given a quest by Spain’s queen (Weisz). His challenge is to find the legendary Tree of Life that is being hidden by a tribe of Mayans because it is said that anyone who drinks the sap of the tree shall be immortal. Driven by the love of his queen and his thirst for immortality, Tomas accepts the challenge.
In 2005, Tommy (Jackman) is an experimental scientist who is desperately trying to find the cure for his wife, Izzi’s (Weisz) brain tumor.
In 2500, Tom (Jackman) is a space traveler who is traveling to the legendary nebula called Shabulba. Traveling in a space sphere he built, Tom spends his days talking to a tree and hallucinating about the wife he had in a previous life.
In each story, the main goal of the man is to be with his love forever by defeating death. In the past, he aims to gain immortality from the Tree of Life. In the present, he tries to find the cure for death.
“Death is disease just like any other,” Tommy said. “There is a cure, and I will find it.” In the future, Tom is traveling to a dying star in hopes that when it dies and explodes, he and the tree that represents the woman he loves will be reborn and live forever together.
In contrast to the man, the woman figure in each story accepts death as a necessary part of life. As Izzi, Tommy’s wife, she tells him a story that explains how she views death.
“The last night I was with the Mayan guide he told me about his father that had died. He said that if they dug his father's body up, it would be gone. They planted a seed over his grave. The seed became a tree. He said his father became a part of that tree. He grew into the wood, into the bloom. And when a sparrow ate the tree's fruit, his father flew with the birds. He said... death was his father's road to awe.”
The main idea conveyed in this film is the irony between what the man wanted out of life and what he actually got. The theme of immortality runs throughout, and immortality is what he achieved, just not how he pictured it.
In the past, when Tomas finally found the Tree of Life he was mortally wounded by one of the Mayans. However, when he put the sap on the wound it instantly healed. He wanted to live forever with his queen so he started to drink the sap. He started to feel pain and then his body was overgrown with flowers and plants from the inside out, and he became part of the earth.
In the present, Tommy found the cure for Izzi, but before he could give it to her, she died. In the future, Tom’s tree dies and he saw a vision of Izzi, from his past life. She asked him what he was so afraid of and he finally came to the ultimate realization, that he was going to die, and that made him free.
So in the end, death was an act of creation. Death was the road to awe. This movie is overtly spiritualistic. The reoccurring motifs in each story help create a sense of each life as a whole, but also individually. It is obvious that the writers wanted to get across the idea of immortality through reincarnation and that death is actually an act of creation.