“So this is a tall tale?”
“Well, it’s not a short one…”
Stories are our essence of life. They grow and change with us. They allow us to reconstruct the past, and put our slant on things. They don’t’ have make sense, and they don’t all have to be fact. That’s what kind of story this is. Big Fish, directed by Tim Burton, is a heartwarming, comedic film, with many twists and turns. It explores the world of an eccentric father, while telling his life story. And so, our story begins.
It is Edward’s myths, of course, that really reveal the man he is. Tim Burton mixes tender heartfelt drama with zany, outrageous scenes, skipping from past to present, while keeping the tension alive.
Finding the town of Ashton and small pond for the big fish he is, Edward sets out for the wilder world. Through witches, werewolves, and giants you can see Edward changes and grows with each new experience. As Edward’s retells his story, Will begins to realize that his father has always been true. Big Fish is a film that might not be great, as far as objective film criteria, but it is a spellbinding, entrancing work that got to my heart in a way that few films ever have. This is, by far, one of the best films I have ever seen ABOUT storytelling. It explores what stories are, what they mean to people, and why they are so important, despite the fact that some may be fabricated or exaggerated. It is also a fantastic father-son film, and the relationship that is most at the heart of Big Fish is that between Edward Bloom and his son, Will. Edward has always been a master storyteller. He goes on and on in a seemingly endless palaver about his extraordinary life and all its wacky mishaps. At least this is how Will perceives it. He knows that his father is making up stuff and/or blowing things way out of proportion, and it bothers him that in the waning years of his father's life, Edward has not shown what Will believes is his true self.
Just like Will, we in the audience...
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