The Fountain Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
The Fountain offers a mind-boggling mix of three parallel stories set in the Spanish Inquisition, a present day medical research lab, and a futurist floating sphere in the year 2500 AD. Hugh Jackman plays a role in each of the plots exploring the vulnerabilities of life and the pursuit to conquer the ever-present reality of death.
During Spain’s era of cruel religious slayings, Conquistador Tomas (Jackson) is sent into the jungle of New Spain by Queen Isabel (Rachel Weisz) to hunt down the biblical Tree of Life. While her country is plagued by the brutality and tyranny of the Grand Inquisitor (Stephan McHattie), she turns a blind eye to the events at home and commissions a search for the sap that will give her everlasting life. However, her soldiers’ method of dealing with the natives who protect the life-preserving liquid is as merciless as the tactics employed by the Inquisitor in the Old World.
Meanwhile in contemporary times, Tommy (Jackman) is a research scientist perched on the edge of a major breakthrough. Along with his associates (Sean Patrick Thomas, Donna Murphy, Ethan Suplee), he has isolated an enzyme from an ancient tropical tree that promotes astonishing healing processes in animal subjects. He is driven to rush the testing process in order to help human patients, especially his wife Izzi (also played by Weisz) who struggles with an apparently life-threatening ailment. Although the center’s lead researcher, Dr. Guzetti (Ellen Burstyn), understands Tommy’s fixation with his work, she realizes the young man needs balance between his professional and personal lives.
Finally, floating in bubble-like sphere, a bald and pajama clad Tom Creo (Jackson) is stubbornly nursing the dying, leafless trunk of a tree. Meditating in the lotus position, he draws on his inner strength to will the tree to live until he can find a cure for the ailing plant.
Exploring death in relation to Judeo-Christian teachings, Eastern religions and medical advancements, The Fountain is an imaginative but often confusing journey. Given the unconventional nature of the script, the film will likely polarize audience members into love/hate categories. Violent depictions of armed fighting, flagellation, and self-mutilation are also seen along with Inquisition torture methods. As well, the movie contains some brief sexual activity between a married couple, infrequent profanities and a strong sexual expletive.
As each of the characters face the uncertainties of life, immortality seems to be the answer to all their problems. However, The Fountain diverts viewers in so many directions that the script’s effectiveness is soon watered down.Starring Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz. Running time: 96 minutes. Theatrical release November 21, 2006. Updated February 13, 2012
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Fountain rated PG-13? The Fountain is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some intense sequences of violent action, some sensuality and language
The film’s combination of three different plots makes the opening sequences of this film difficult to follow at times. Scenes of the Spanish Inquisition include depictions of men being speared with javelins, stabbed, hung, beaten and mutilated. The film also portrays death, grief and the desperate actions of those trying to prevent death. Various religious beliefs about death and immortality are explored. A married couple engages in passionate kissing. Some profanities and a strong sexual expletive are contained in the script.
Page last updated February 13, 2012
The Fountain Parents' Guide
How do Tommy and Izzie face the reality of death? How do their differing perspectives affect their actions? What does Tommy mean when he says “death is a disease”?
According to the film, consuming the sap from the Tree of Life will make a person immortal. Would you want to live forever? What would be the advantages and the drawbacks? What age would you want to be if you lived forever? What other religious teachings, legends or stories deal with the concept of living forever?
The most recent home video release of The Fountain movie is May 14, 2007. Here are some details…
DVD Release Date: 15 May 2007
While the DVD release of The Fountain is not running over with bonus extras, it does offer a look Inside The Fountain: Death and Rebirth Gallery of 6 Featurettes Exploring the Movie’s Various Periods and Settings. Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 (English and French).
Related home video titles:
In Tuck Everlasting, a family of backwoodsmen discovers the fountain of youth. Evolution, space travel and monoliths are all subjects for query in another science fiction mind-boggler, 2001: The Space Odyssey. The pursuit of immortality is an integral part of the plot of the movie Star Trek: Insurrection.