Big Fish

March 1st, 2004 Film, Film Reviews, Filmink

Director: Tim Burton

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Allison Lohman, Helena Bonham Carter, Robert Guillaume

Distributor: Columbia Tristar

Worth: $12.00

Released: February 5

Casting off the dark shadow of Planet of the Apes, Tim Burton returns to the cinematic style he loves best — every scene and word of dialogue is larger than life, and an old fashioned tale is more important than getting it right.

The life of Edward Bloom is treated the same way — both by Burton and the character of Edward Bloom himself, laying on his deathbed, his estranged son trying to reach the man underneath the fiction for the last time.

But it’s not a melodramatic tearjerker; it’s about the man’s colourful life as remembered by him and imparted to his by turns charmed and exasperated family.

While it’s been branded in the US as a poor man’s Forrest Gump, Burton’s take on a life of adventure is more mature and has far less saccharine. It heaps on the charm and the laughs, seamlessly blending heartwarming drama and comic charisma.

Albert Finney is endlessly lovable as the aged adventurer, but the real star is Ewan McGregor, with a wide-eyed, Gumpish, innocence as the younger Bloom. It’s a sweet, low key and refreshing change to 2003’s CGI behemoths, but no less satisfying.

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