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Movies: Big Fish
Friday, 2004 January 23 - 12:15 am
This is a charming movie, kind of a "Forrest Gump" meets "O Brother Where Art Thou". It has no great revelations or statements to make, but it's a feel-good experience. Sometimes, that's all you need.

"Big Fish" is a movie about the life of Ed Bloom (Ewan McGregor/Albert Finney). If Ed's stories are to be believed, Ed has lived a fascinating life. He regales his family and friends with tales of adventure, woe, and joy. The problem is, the man's now-grown son Will (Billy Crudup) feels like he has been deceived his whole life by these stories. Will sets out to find out the truth behind his father's stories.

The movie is largely a series of episodes illustrating Ed's life, as Ed has described them. The stories are funny, poignant, and rich with allegory and fantasy. They will bring to mind Homer's Odyssey, complete with giants and sirens and all manner of oddball characters.

These episodes are tied together by the larger story, where Will is seen trying to understand his terminally-ill father. Here we get the hint of a gentle message, the idea that sparking the imagination through story-telling is more important than raw facts and data. Perhaps it's a message about movies themselves, that we should simply enjoy the stories and not try to find meaning in them. There is a paradox here, though: if we look for the message of this movie, we are doing the opposite of what that message is telling us to do. Hmm.

Probably the best thing to do is not to think about this movie too much, but to simply absorb it and enjoy it. And really, it is an enjoyable ride.

Rating: 2.5 / 5
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Posted by Ken in: moviesreviews

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