Directed by Tim Burton. USA. 2003.
The film is told in flashback as Will and his pregnant French wife Josephine (Marion Cotillard) recall the stories his father had told him all his life. We first see young Edward (Ewan McGregor) as a sports hero and science fair winner in Ashton, Alabama then, after leaving Ashton with a gentle giant named Karl, encountering the inhabitants of a wondrous town called Spectre where everyone walks around barefoot and is full of joy. Although vowing to return one day to Spectre, Edward moves on and agrees to work for a circus manager (Danny de Vito) in return for information about Sandra (Alison Lohman), a girl he has fallen in love with. Eventually he finds her at Auburn University and, in one of the best scenes in the film, courts her with 10,000 daffodils to prove his love.
After Edward is drafted
to fight in the Korean War, he rescues conjoined twin entertainers, Ping
and Jing and brings them home to work in the circus. At this point, it
just continues from one off-the-wall sequence to another until its grand
Fellini-esque final sequence. Unfortunately, despite some high expectations,
I was unmoved by the ending. I did not find anything lovable about Bloom
and feel that the theme of father-son reconciliation was handled much more
convincingly in The
Barbarian Invasions by Denis Arcand. While Big Fish has
some fine performances and outstanding special effects, it did not instill
in me any true sense of wonder or authentic emotion. Sadly, Big Fish
is dead in the water.
Information about the
Big Fish novel can be seen here.
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