After having read everything about The Fountain, after having seen it and digested it for myself, I gotta say that Jim Emerson’s closing comments in his review sums up my feelings perfectly:
“Yes, The Fountain overreaches on every level, and that's exactly what I like about it. Big subject, big canvas, big ambitions. A young director's ungainly and overwrought folly? By all means, in the sense that Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia or Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho or Martin Scorsese's New York, New York or Bernardo Bertolucci's 1900 are follies.
They're all bold attempts -- some more successful than others -- by passionate young filmmakers in their late 20s to mid-30s to sum up their own sensibilities and experience, to cram just about everything they know and feel, about life and about movies, on the screen at once.
That doesn't make for smooth, comfortable viewing, but I'd much rather watch somebody shoot for the moon when the stakes are sky-high than sit back while they play it safe.”