Stuntman And Lover Of Cheese

by Dan Bostonweeks

Review: Big Fish

I went this weekend and saw Big Fish and I liked it a lot. Tim Burton is a great director, but sometimes his storytelling falls apart. Thankfully Big Fish already had a good foundation of a story behind it so it didn’t suffer from Burton’s often wandering eye (I mean, really, just look at Sleepy Hollow, so much potential but without a strong story Burton couldn’t save it). The storytelling as a mix of present day and what we think is fantasy helps paint a picture of the father that everyone should be able to grab on to. He’s just someone that wants to make life interesting. The cinematography was great because the lighting was on mood the entire time and the camera angles always evoked the correct emotion. I loved the use of forced perspective to tell the giant’s story and the deliberate under-use of the split-focus lens only where it really helped (unlike in The Last Castle where it must have been used in about 30 shots, bleh). Some of the people I was with didn’t like the movie because of the slower pace in the story telling. I however thought it fully connected with reality. That’s the way the story should have been paced. I loved it. The mix of what one thinks is fantasy with what is real is great. The way it was all wrapped up at the end worked great too. A touching ending mixed with great storytelling, go see Big Fish if you like Tim Burton and want to see a good flick. (update @ Tue Jan 20 16:39:53 PST 2004)
On further thinking one thing that really bugged me about Big Fish is there was no reason to care about Billy Crudup’s character. You were so in love with the Albert Finney/Ewan McGregor character that you didn’t care why Crudup’s character had the feelings he did or acted the way he did. He just came across as a bit of a whiney bastard.