What Tim Burton had once done with dark and eerie, he has done with beauty. We all know and love Timmy for the way he can present possibly the most strange and mysterious situation, and exaggerate it with enough shadows and forbidding architecture so that the frightening has become so alluring, so inviting. “Big Fish” contains some of the most strikingly beautiful and vibrant images ever observed without the aid of psychedelic drugs. And it's all delivered with “Forrest Gump” charm. Yea, you'll be wide-eyed and “aw-shucksing” the whole way through.
“Big Fish” tells the story of Edward Bloom (old: Albert Finney, young: Ewan McCregor) and those who love him. Upon growing ill, Edward is confined to his bed where his son, Will (Billy Crudup) joins him in order to reconcile their shattered relationship. Will has grown up hearing legends from his father – Tall Tales if you will -about Edward's exploits as a young man. Edward's stories are so full of unbelievable endeavors, impossible feats and downright magic that, as a grown man, Will finds them hard to swallow. But, as Edward constantly reminds us throughout the film, what makes a good story is “flavor” not “fact”.
When the audience is treated to a delightful flashback we are introduced to the stunning visuals. Everything glows with a wonderful aura. Colors are so vivid and clear that it appears as almost fantasy. When we are shown Sandra (old: Jessica Lange, young: Alison Lohman), the woman Edward falls in love with, her face is alight with such a pleasant golden quality. Water swishes and swirls in a brilliant azure. This is Edward Bloom's world. Edward's tales/past are filled with such marvelous phenomena that we eventually stop questioning their credibility and just immerse ourselves in the scenery and even learn a lesson or two along the way. So are his ramblings true? Frankly, it remains unimportant. Sometimes the beauty lies in the personal perception and artistic duties.
And I must:
“You will fall for “Big Fish” hook, line and sinker”.
Jared Hiller, brother of Jordan, is studying musical engineering while trying to emulate his favorite author, Vladimir Nabakov.