Big Fish

Tim Burton's "Big Fish" is wonderful fun. It makes full use of Burton's fantabulist storytelling, but yoked to characters and a storyline that carry more emotional heft than you'd expect from a Burton film.

I love it that Albert Finney's tall tales, at least the early ones, have a quasi-biblical take to them--the big fish is relative to Jonah's whale, McGregor vs. the giant recalls David vs. Goliath (and in fact McGregor tosses a rock at his chest), the snake swimming towards the beautiful blonde nude evokes Eden, the same snake turning into a stick reminds us of Moses' showman side.

Also love it that for such a fantastical film (it's what "Forrest Gump" aspires to, only without the sticky sentimentality) Burton takes it easy on the CGI effects--there are a few, but they're not done in a way that looks like your usual CGI, and thankfully, there are no roller-coaster POV shots, like the kind done to death in the Matrix and Star Wars sequels.

And Billy Crudup's feelings towards his father--it's the first time in a long time I've believed in this kind of relationship so strongly (even if son-reconciles-with-estranged-father is one of the oldest storylines in showbiz). I know how it feels like to realize you've been lied to for years, by someone you trusted and believed in. The sense of betrayal, the hate, is very palpable.

No comments: