Sunday 13 November 2011

Big Fish (2003) - Tim Burton

You can’t choose your family, but it’s funny how death can bring people together.  Edward Bloom (Ewan McGregor/Albert Finney) is an incessant storyteller, to the detriment of the relationship with his son Will (Billy Crudup) who is embarrassed by his father’s absurd fantasies.  But as Edward nears death, Will is determined to sort fact from fiction and find out the truth behind his father’s elaborate tales.

Big Fish is Tim “hit-or-miss” Burton’s Forrest Gump.  The film takes us through Edward’s extraordinary (imaginary?) life and, by extension, Burton’s imagination.  The style is typical of his fantastical dream worlds, but unlike his other material there is (disappointingly) a stronger basis in reality. 

Essentially, the film is a coping method for death – celebrating life rather than mourning its end.  It’s beautifully shot and charming, yet Big Fish just didn’t hit me emotionally as intended.  Perhaps Burton should stick with darkness rather than sweetness.


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