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Review of Big Fish

Posted by phduffy on 2004-02-08 17:49:19
This weekend I saw Tim Burton's Big Fish.

Tim Burton is kind of funny, as he has a pretty decent following of people that think he's great, despite the fact that he directed:

Planet of the Apes
Mars Attacks
Sleepy Hollow
Pee Wee's Big Adventure

However, he did direct Batman and Batman 2, Edward Scissor Hands and Beetle juice. Still, those movies and the fact that he likes Johnny Depp don't seem like good enough reasons to me to compare him with some of the great directors working today. He is creative though; I'll give him that.

Big Fish is the story of a man reuniting with his father at the end of his father's life. Throughout his life his father has always told larger than life tales to his son. His son has grown to resent what he sees as the lies his father told him. Albert Finney, who I had confused with Brian Cox, plays his father. However, when I went to imdb and looked them up, I realized that they are probably the same person, just using different names. At least, that's the best I can come up with.

Anyways, the movie is mostly just a series of stories about Ed Bloom as a young man. We see him as a traveling salesman, as a local hero, in the war and other various places.

Burton makes each story appear as a fable or fairy tale, which is a nice contrast to the gritty realism that many of today's movies seem to be shooting for. The characters are all larger than life, as are the events that they take place in. Bloom is also the perfect example of the unreliable narrator, as we never really know how much, if any, of his story is true. But do we care?

This movie may be offsetting to some, as it doesn't really have a strict narrative structure. Things happen, then they stop happening, then something else happens, then we have a tangent. However, I think that is sort of the point. We start to realize that sometimes it's the journey and not the destination that's the most worthwhile*.

The film ends on a fairly emotional note, and most of the people in the theatre didn't move once the credits started, as you sort of need to let this movie sink in.

I recommend this picture.

*Wow, apparently sometimes there's a reason for clich├ęs!

For the Children:
Danny Devito appears in this movie, and he's damn near the size of a child. Plus, you get to see his ass. I don't know what that has to do with kids, but damn.

Also, we have a giant that allegedly eats kids. Kids - Them's good eatin'!