In the end, Izzy and Tommy appear to find one another in the afterlife, when the 26th century Tomas floats up to the heavens.  And yet, Aronofsky’s deeper message seems to be that the pursuit of immortal life is a futile one—especially when it causes us to miss what this life has to offer.  Although confusing at first, this is consistent with the syncretistic belief that everything is one in the universe.  We must live out our days the best way that we can, the director seems to be saying, because life is but an eternal cycle of death and rebirth.  Images of the lotus position, popular in Buddhism, underscore this teaching.

Although hardly a Christian message, Aronofsky is nevertheless communicating something important about a culture that encourages us to avoid death, no matter what the cost.  We can’t ever “cure” it, as Tommy insists he will, and few will accept the Mayan chief’s shout that “Death is the beginning of awe.”  But, as Izzy demonstrates, death is not always evil, nor must it necessarily be feared.  At times, it might even be embraced—particularly when acceptance will allow loved ones to find closure and reconciliation. 

Having experienced this same spiritual quest, Christians understand that peace about life and death, as well as eternal life, can be found by surrendering our pride and embracing the forgiveness that Jesus so freely offers.  Fortunately, no matter where we are on that journey, we can all cling to his promise that “those who seek me with all their hearts shall surely find me.”

AUDIENCE:  Adults and mature adolescents

DVD EXTRAS:

  • Theatrical Trailer
  • “Inside the Fountain: Death and Rebirth” – featurette

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: None.
  • Language/Profanity: A few profanities and obscenities, two of which are strong.
  • Sexual Content/Nudity: Characters kiss then frolic in a bathtub and begin to make love (but no nudity); married couple sleep and snuggle in bed.
  • Violence: Various gruesome, even bloody depictions of war-like killing of soldiers, priests, natives and conquistadors, including stabbing and throat-slitting;  Grand Inquisitor flagellates himself, drawing blood, then expounds upon the heretical belief that the route to holiness requires bodily death, torture and/or mutilation; several people are hanged upside down and dropped to their death; man gives himself a tattoo with an ink pen; various depictions of anger/despair including throwing of objects (no one is injured).