Tortla's Reviews > The Fountain

The Fountain by Darren Aronofsky
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's review
Dec 02, 14

bookshelves: comics, aliens
Read in June, 2009

I don't think making something vague and constantly making allusions to death and eternity makes it deep, and I don't think having quasi-incomplete-looking drawings of mildly repulsive-looking people (seriously, they all look smudgy and kind of deformed and the colors are rarely constrained by the shaky lines...) constitutes beautiful art. I'm a fan of color, and while I can appreciate muted smudgy misshapen things for their own distinct form of beauty, it's a little tiresome and definitely not essential as a stylistic choice for the entire story.

There were definitely decent moments, and the panels were occasionally pretty, but it seemed kind of like a hollow attempt at being "epic" to me. The scenes set in Spain dragged on, and the dialogue was embarrassingly melodramatic--which I guess is a part of comic books, even if they are pretentiousing it up and calling themselves "graphic novels."

Also, I didn't really see the Spain storyline as being "true," which seems to be the accepted interpretation of it. I kind of just saw the modern-day storyline as the real one, the Spain one as the woman's story and the futuristic one as the man's way of coming to terms with his mortality. Which is interesting, I guess, but could have been better executed, especially if the vagueness of these stories' interrelatedness was unintentional.

There was something fundamental missing from every aspect of the comic book: the dialogue was flat, the drawings looked incomplete, the narration was minimal and redundant, the characters' motivations were unclear, and the sound-effect words in the panels were hilariously cheesy when they were probably intended to be cinematic (e.g. the part where they're battling up a pyramid thing and the word "doom" is written all over those pages. subtle.)...

So The Fountain pretty much failed. Which is a shame, because I think it had potential (potential that was occasionally--but oh so rarely--showcased). Maybe if Clive Barker had done the illustrations, it would have turned out better... (I can imagine him doing some pretty glorious stuff with the trees, and definitely adding some vibrancy to this dull and overrated book.)

P.S. I reviewed this edition, even though it wasn't the one I read--I read the one with the writhing naked people on the cover--because this cover art is more along the lines of what I consider visually appealing.

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