Rating: PG-13 for language and adult situations
Run Time: 2 hours
Deviant director Tim Burton treads the brackish waters of family relationships with mixed results.
Bloom (Albert Finney) is a master tale-teller, most of them tall and all of
them the life of the party. His
gargantuan wanderlust has afforded him a lifetime of material; from the four
Edward’s estranged son Will (Billy Crudup) is not amused. Not by his father’s outsized truths or by his apparent inability to divorce fact from fiction. Will has left the family to escape his father’s far-reaching shadow, only to find himself drawn back in when Edward is taken ill. What follows is Will’s personal journey to reconcile himself with the man and the myth that is his dad.
The majority of Fish’s whimsical narrative is told by Edward the younger (Ewan McGregor), whose mythical exploits with a one-ring traveling circus, journeys alongside Karl the Giant (Matthew McGrory), and multiple encounters with a glass-eyed witch fill Fish with colorful inanity.
a tenuous technique that must strike the perfect note in order to suspend
disbelief. Think Amelie or Field of Dreams. That said, the project lacks credibility by
pushing the delusory envelope.
Surprisingly, the current-day tensions lend a bit of intrigue and a sense of familiarity. Mom Sandra’s (Jessica Lange) attempt to reunite her boys reeks of frustration; the real kind to which real folk can relate.
I suspect that to love Big Fish is to fall for Edward’s capricious melodramas. I found them mawkish, meaningless and altogether too narcissistic. Edward’s swaggering confidence is ripe with bravado, barely masking an obnoxious ego and monstrous insecurity. Color me a scrooge, but this is one big fish that I can’t swallow.