When you sit down to watch a Tim Burton movie, you can be
guaranteed of one thing: what you’re about to watch will most definitely blow your mind.
Most of the time, that’s a good thing. His movies are so striking and imaginative and
dream-like that you can’t help but enjoy every fantastical minute. But his last film,
the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes (read my review), went too far
for me, and it made me hesitate to see Big Fish--for fear that Tim Burton had
finally lost it (we all knew it would happen sooner or later…). But when I finally gave
in and saw it, I found that I had nothing to worry about…
that his estranged father is dying, Will Bloom (Billy Crudup) returns home to be with the
man he never really knew. As the days pass, Will pieces his father’s life together by
recalling the outrageous stories he always used to tell, much to Will’s dismay. The
story of his dad’s life, Will says, “doesn’t always make sense, and most of it never
Or, as the dying Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) says, his life
is made up of strange stories with surprising endings.
plays a younger Edward Bloom—who, according to his own Homer-esque stories, encountered
witches and giants and haunted forests and strange utopian towns along his journey to
find his destiny.
Big Fish is a magical experience, and, despite
my hesitation, I enjoyed it from the first scene to the last. There’s so much going
on—and so much to see—that you’ll never catch everything (or understand
everything, for that matter), but it’s definitely an amazing ride. Like any Tim Burton
film, it’s filled with eye candy (somewhat reminiscent of another Ewan McGregor favorite,
Rouge!), but it’s also a touching story that will mean something different to
each person who sees it. It’s one you won’t want to miss.