First thing to remember, this is a Tim Burton film. It is a very weird film, but quite different to some Tim Burton films, the creepy feel you get quite often in his films, such as ‘Edward Scissorhands’, ‘Corpse Bride’, ‘Frankenweenie’, isn’t there in ‘Big Fish’. Of course, there is the weirdness, the bizarre elements of Burton’s films definitely. But not at all the creepy elements. So in this way, it seems quite a different film to other Tim Burton films, for the better or for worse? I’m not sure.
The film begins quite slow. It is very random and I found it quite difficult to get into. This was mostly due to the fact that I wasn’t entirely sure what was actually happening. It takes a while to understand what is happening, but persist with it, because it really does have a beautiful ending that just makes the film seem worth it. ‘Big Fish’ relates around the stories of Edward Bloom’s life. The film does jump through timelines, we witness Edward at a young age, at a teen, then through his adult years. But during the present, the film revolves around the plot of Edward’s son, Will (Billy Crudup), desperate to figure out what the truth was behind his father’s life. As Will is at his father’s side while he is dying, Edward retells stories of his past, one that of course Will has heard before, but what is the myth and what is the honest truth is too difficult to tell. The audience are thrown in the past, different pasts of different stories, as we are told stories of this man’s bizarre life, stories of a giant, of a two headed woman, and most importantly stories of a big fish. Like I said, the film is very weird. The film has elements of adventure, romance, and full of random, bizarre fairytale stories. They really are stories unlike so many heard before, once you get used to that, they do warp in the audience as we are transported to a completely random world.
There are many recognisable actors in this film. The young Edward Bloom is played by Ewan McGregor, obviously recognisable in many films, such as ‘Moulin Rouge’ or even playing Obi-Wan Kenobi. The senior Edward Bloom in the present is played by Albert Finney. Both of these played very well, all of them are to be honest, the acting in this film is superb. Edward’s wife is played by Jessica Lange, probably most recognisable to people in ‘American Horror Story’. Then of course there is has to be either Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter in a Tim Burton film; this one only has Helena Bonham Carter in it, she plays the older Jenny in the film, obviously she plays her character brilliantly. She also plays the witch, but I’m not sure how the witch and Jenny are related if at all, but that just adds to the bizarreness of the film I guess. There is also the appearance of Danny DeVito, Steve Buscemi (‘Reservoir Dogs’, also the voice of Randall in ‘Monsters Inc’) and Missi Pyle (‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song’). Even Miley Cyrus makes an appearance. There will be many recognisable faces in this film for sure.
Would I recommend this film? I’m not sure. I guess it’s one that you should witness at least once in your life, but it does take a while to get into. But hey, it’s a Tim Burton film and all of his films are so different to others anyway! It is a very weird film, like extremely weird. But the ending is actually so beautiful, not going to lie, I teared up a bit. The film is one where you reach the ending and you then fill fulfilled, but it just takes a while to get there. The audience are warped in to so many stories, we eventually become wrapped into it, but like I said it does take its time. Overall, it’s not an awful film, far from it, just one very out of the ordinary, but would you expect anything different?