Tim Burton returns to the screen with an unusually restrained offering. Instead of his usual gothic tone, he presents a tale that is whimsical, winning and heart-warming, celebrating the power of the imagination and master-craftsmen story-telling over modern scepticism. By the end you will be cheering for the old-fashioned dignity of a well-turned tale, and the innocence of your youth when dragons, knights and witches were as real as anything one met on the street.
The narrator switches between a sceptical son and his father, telling the story of his life through the tales the son recalls being told from his childhood. Having come home to see his father, now finally dying, the son has to learn to see past the rigid rules of modern expectations he has drawn around himself, and with the prompting of his heavily pregnant wife and his mother, make peace with someone he considers to be a ‘foolish old man.’
A great deal of mystery surrounds Ed Bloom’s youth, mostly because of the fantastic versions of events he has given his son all his life, but in the course of a weekend, the son, and we, will see once more those fantastic events played out as Ed recounts his life in small-town beginnings, his befriending of a giant, his work at a magical circus to earn the name of his true-love and future wife from the circus owner, his improbable wartime adventures involving a pair of Siamese Twin entertainers, his time on the road as a salesman and his final return to a small town he found on his way on a detour while travelling to work, and his subsequent rescue of the town as a real estate developer from the clutches of less sympathetic land dealers. Along the way he meets a host of magical, wonderfully odd-ball characters, all told with such warmth and wit that by his final breath, his son is ready to finally believe the message of his heart and, breaking his father from the cold, clinical hospital, he takes him on one last car-ride to the river of his youth, where the final magic has yet to take place…
A wonderful, warm film featuring heartfelt performances from a host of famous leading players, it will leave you uplifted and warmed to the deepest parts of your soul. Big Fish is a sure-fire winner that will convince you all over again of the positive power of the fairy tale.
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