Find the list here: The Top 250 Films List Total Films Watched: 250/250

Thursday, 31 January 2013

#247 - 'Big Fish' (2003)

"In telling the story of my father's life, it's impossible to separate fact from fiction, the man from the myth. The best I can do is to tell it the way he told me. It doesn't always make sense and most of it never happened... but that's what kind of story this is." - Will Bloom.
'Big Fish' is a heart-warming tale about heart-warming tales. When Will Bloom (Billy Crudup) learns that his father Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) is very ill, he and his pregnant wife (the lovely Marion Cotillard) travel home to be at his side. The father-son relationship had broken down over the past three years due to Edward's fantastical fables about his youthful endeavours. Will became tired of hearing the same stories, with a repeated telling of how Edward caught a big fish using his wedding ring as bait. Not believing any of his father's stories, he became estranged. With Edward's illness bringing them back together, the film explores Edward's whimsical stories of youth through flashbacks - in which young Edward is played by Ewan McGregor. Journeying with a gentle giant, finding the idyllic town of Spectre and meeting some interesting characters in a circus. Just how embellished were Edward's stories and will his relationship with his son be reconciled before it is too late?
Young Edward in the town of Spectre.
There is a very strong cast and you can tell from the off that this is a Tim Burton film. And not just because Helena Bonham-Carter is in it. It looked good. That may sound like a silly thing to say but it did. The flashback sections were visually distinguishable from the modern day scenes. The narration works really well, and at times sounded almost like an audiobook - well, they are telling a story! The secondary cast were also very good, especially Danny DeVito as the circus ringleader, Steve Buscemi as Norther Winslow and Matthew McGrory as the giant.
Tall tales.
There are many themes to explore throughout both the modern day scenes and the flashbacks. The main motif being the relationship between Will and Edward. There are some emotional scenes between the two of them; Will comparing his father to an ice-berg - claiming that he can only see what is on the surface and he hardly knows anything about his own father. The theme of love runs throughout the flashbacks with Edward trying to find out everything he can about the woman he believes is destined to be his wife. The woman he fell in love with at first sight. It seems love will make you do crazy things.
Anyone for daffodils?
Overall, this was an enjoyable Tim Burton adventure. With no sign of Johnny Depp. Make of that what you will.

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