• Publication date: August 25, 2009

Big Fish Big Fish

Discovering the Past Through Fiction

“Big Fish” is a fantasy drama that also requires ...

Discovering the Past Through Fiction “Big Fish” is a fantasy drama that also requires a little critical thinking. Some of the stories within it are tall tales, while others are true, even if only partially. As one watches the film he or she must attempt to separate fact from fiction; however there is no guarantee that the viewer’s conclusion is necessary a correct one. Wallace’s novel, like the film, is set primarily in a small Alabama town that is home to a storytelling father named Edward Bloom. Actor Albert Finney plays Bloom in his senior years, while Ewan McGregor depicts Bloom’s younger self. Bloom’s son, William, is a journalist living in Paris who returns to the United States when he is informed of his father’s ailing heath. Prior to his father’s illness, the two were not on speaking terms, partly due to Edward’s obsession with over the top recollections of his past. When William returns to Alabama he attempts to put together pieces of his dad’s past in order to determine the truth. However, this is not an easy task. Mr. Bloom is still a skilled storyteller who prefers to relay the past with hints of more fiction than reality, even on his deathbed. For example, Edward’s account of his early days include him being confined to a bed for three straight years, meetings with giants, and adventures through haunted forests; he even finds time to join both a circus and the army, making his way to Korea where he pairs (pun intended) with conjoined dancers before returning home to the states. It is not until William returns to his father’s hidden town of Spectre that he begins to connect his father’s vivid imagination with documented facts and learns who Edward truly was, both individually and to those around him. When he returns to his father’s hospital bed he discovers him barely conscious; this is where William gains a new understanding of Edward’s tales and begins his own adventure. Nominated for an Oscar, “Big Fish” is considered by some to be Tim Burton’s greatest motion picture. Danny Elfman composed the soundtrack to the film, like many of others by Burton and it generated $122 million dollars worth of ticket sales worldwide. Fans of Burton’s past works and fantasy films will not be disappointed! This movie is rated PG-13 due to minor violence and some nudity.