9 jul. 2011

My Review: Big Fish (9/10)

¨There are some fish that cannot be caught. It`s not that they are faster or stronger than other fish, they`re just touched by something extra.¨

Big Fish is a beautiful film that truly captures our hearts by its brilliant storytelling; and it couldn’t have been directed by any other than the great and imaginative storyteller himself: Tim Burton. Daniel Wallace`s novel, Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions, could have been a disaster in the making if not put in the right hands because the novel is all about imagination and storytelling. Many movies have destroyed stories similar to this one because the effect that imagination has when we read a book isn’t translated in the same way when we see a film. Very few directors leave room for imagination in their movies, but thankfully Tim Burton is one of them. He creates a very beautiful, artistic, and imaginative scenery, and the cinematography in Big Fish is also brilliant. He can turn a simple story into an extraordinary one with his artistic sense. Big Fish is actually all about storytelling and teaching us how our lives can remain immortal through the stories we tell. People can remember us by the stories we`ve told and left behind in the minds of those we`ve touched. John August (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) did a magnificent job with the screenplay adaptation as well. The entire movie worked well as a whole thanks to the great scenery, great performances from the entire cast, and great dialogues. The movie is great from start to finish, it`s truly beautiful; the scenes and characters will stick in your head even long after you’ve seen it.

Ed Bloom (Albert Finney) has just been diagnosed with cancer and as he lays in his deathbed his son, Will (Billy Crudup), begins recollecting his past and trying to separate fiction from facts. Ed has always been a storyteller, and Will used to love to hear these fantastical stories about how his father caught an uncatchable fish, married the woman of his dreams, and set out to do big things in the world, but as he grew older he became resentful towards his father who always spent a lot of time away from home and making up stories that in his opinion weren’t true. Will`s wife, Josephine (Marion Cotillard), wants him to make up with his dad before he passes away. Ed however claims they shouldn’t worry because he`s seen the way he was going to die and it wasn’t like this. That was just one of his many stories and it`s exactly how Will begins recreating the story of his father. When Ed was a young boy he visited an old witch (Helena Bonham Carter) who showed him the way he was going to die through her glass eye. We later see Ed as a young adult (played by Ewan McGregor) trying to make a big name for himself in the small time he grew up in. He achieves many great things, but realizes the town is just too small for him so he decides to move on to a big city for greater things. He takes a journey that leads him into various interesting characters, such as Karl the Giant (Matthew McGrory), the poet Norther Winslow (Steve Buscemi), the Siamese twins Ping and Jing (Ada Tai and Arlene Tai), his future wife Sandra Bloom (Alison Lohman and Jessica Lange as the old Sandra), and a circus owner named Amos Calloway (Danny DeVito). Will tries to make sense of these stories in order to figure out what is fact and what is fiction so he can finally understand his father.

Several of the stories are unbelievable, but they are extremely funny and worth listening too. The performances from Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney as Ed Bloom are really heartwarming as well. Steve Buscemi and Danny DeVito are hilarious in their supportive roles, and Alison Lohman is breathtaking in her role as the sweet Sandra. This was also Marion Cotillard`s first American film and she has made quite a name for herself by now. Helena Bonham Carter also had a remarkable role and she is as strange as ever. Billy Crudup has the most serious role as his character is more of a fact sort of guy and is tired of listening to all the stories his father has told him for years expecting him to believe them. He is also very credible as Will Bloom. The entire cast is actually a delight on screen and Big Fish works in great part thanks to their performance. The artistic scenery also caught my attention and it played a huge part in the storytelling. No one could`ve done it better than Tim Burton himself. By the end of the movie I guarantee you will feel touched and moved by this great story which is also helped out by having a powerful ending. It is just one of those pictures that will be hard to get off your mind for quite some time so I really recommend this film because this is the way stories should be told. Just like an ordinary life can become extraordinary through great storytelling, this ordinary film becomes extraordinary through Burton`s storytelling

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