Film Review - "Big Fish"

Essay by angelic_good_girl_5 March 2007

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Tim Burton pulls off another intricate masterpiece in a winning screenplay adaptation of Daniel Wallace’s surrealistic novel, “Big Fish”. This beautiful film reels you right in; you’re hooked from the very beginning. It narrates the desperate attempts of Will Bloom (Billy Crudup) to reconnect with his imaginative, dying father Edward Bloom (Albert Finney). Narrated through flashbacks, the fabled escapades of the younger Ed Bloom (Ewan McGregor) become the reason for many heated discussions between father and son. In flight from his father’s imagination, Will soon learns that truth and dreams are inseparable. Edward’s unparalleled love for his wife, Sandra (Alison Lohman and older version, Jessica Lange) and the sweet, ridiculous means it took to win her is the common thread linking all of Edward’s tall tales.

Armed with only a raggedy backpack which eventually gets stolen, unrelenting determination and a ridiculous invention, Ed Bloom assumes the career of a traveling salesman and jumps headfirst into each adventure that befalls him.

Encounters with Karl the giant; ringmaster-turned-werewolf dwarf (Danny DeVito, (who’s rear is regrettably exposed in a circus scene); conjoined, vocally talented twin entertainers (the Tai sisters); renowned poet-turned-bank robber Beamen (Loudon Wainwright III) and the whimsical town of Spectre in which the sporting of shoes is considered taboo are a magnificent addition to this complex, entrancing fantasy.

Tim Burton should be applauded for his wise selection of an experienced, compelling cast. The morphing of a younger Ed Bloom into an older version of the legendary man is seemingly flawless; McGregor and Finney complement each other. Will’s wife, Josephine (Marion Cotillard) expresses just the right amount of warmth and empathy to balance her husband’s detached behavior. The dazzling special effects, innovative set pieces and simple messages at the core of the story contribute to this masterfully evocative film. Burton conveys great...