So, I’ll start with the obvious. This is visually stunning. The cinematography is just absolutely beautiful. Next, Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz’s acting performances. Also fantastic. Their performances are gut wrenching and emotional, and they were both awesome. Now, the three stories themselves. Separately, they are all equally interesting. But I still couldn’t quite figure out what they were all doing in the same movie. Now, believe me, I am all for ambiguous endings, where there are multiple possibilities and it is up to the viewer to decide. My favorite examples of this include Pan’s Labyrinth and Inception. However, what differs those movies from this one is that those two have only a few possibilities, and each one is completely justifiable through what happened in the movie. The Fountain is just a little too scattered and ambiguous. As in there are an infinite number of possibilities, and each are probably possible. It actually reminded me a little of Absurdist theatre in that way. But like I said earlier, there is a difference between ambiguity and just not knowing what is going on. Because I’ll be honest, at the end I was a little unsatisfied, left to try and sort out what I saw. I honestly think that if Aronofsky had just tightened up the narrative a little bit and was just a tiny bit more clear, this could have gone from being a great movie to a brilliant movie.
My Interpretation (if you’re curious)
Ok, so present day Tommy is literal. Spanish conquistador is all Izzi’s book. The final battle and then him eating the tree is what Tommy wrote. (He got the idea from what Izzi said about the Mayan guy). Bubble Tommy is in the future, but not as far as some perceive. I think he also died of cancer (the shaved head), and the bubble with the tree in it, are all a part of limbo. He never wanted to accept death in life, so he cannot believe that he is dead, so he is stuck somewhere in between. His limbo is the tree, flashbacks of Izzi, and the nebula, are his perception of the after-life, so that’s where his limbo is. At the end, he accepts his death and moves on to the true after-life where he can finally be with Izzi and “live forever”