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Fountain, The


Stars: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Ellen Burstyn, Mark Margolis, Sean Patrick Thomas, Stephen Mchattie, Cliff Curtis, Donna Murphy

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Much troubled and delayed in the making, this is a mystical fantasy existing (and failing) on three levels and periods in history. A surgeon (Jackman) operates on a monkey to try to cure a brain tumour. Soon he will face the same dilemma with his wife (Weisz).

Meanwhile, a Spanish conquistador (also Jackman) is ordered by his queen (also Weisz) to 'relieve Spain from bondage' (i e the Inquisition) by finding the Mayan tree of life - while somewhere in space a floating ball encloses a shaven man (Jackman again) kneeling before a tree that may be the one the conquistador sought.

Confused? Bored, more likely, as the film drifts onwards in its coffee-coloured world without ever engaging our emotions or interest. A turkey whose fine feathers rival those of the Mayan chief.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Technicolor.
96 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 22 Jan 2007