Big Fish is a Tall Tale told by an aging father to a son who realizes he doesn't actually know who is father is, so buried is the man beneath the lies, err, storytelling. But this is a Tim Burton film so it isn't about a son trying to find out who is dad really is before the old man dies. Rather, it is about embracing the lies, & in flashbacks the Tall Tales are depicted as though true.
The casting seemed weak & it takes a full hour to warm up to the antics of Albert Finney or Ewan MacGregor who don't seem like the same guy old & young, & Billy Crudup is cruddy until almost the end when he somewhat redeems his peformance. Helena Bonham-Carter & Steve Buscemi & other support actors outshine the leads, but Jessica Lang is wasted with nothing to do.
The story is problematical rather than captivating. We're told it's all a tall tale & so it's hard to care, for the same reason that no one really likes Baron Munchausen all that much. But a film with Buscemi, a one-eyed witch & a giant has got to get a "liked it" rating even if the main points of the film were ineffective.
Burton followed up Big Fish with the abominable Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. It makes one wonder if the Tim Burton of Ed Wood or Nightmare Before Christmas or even Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is a creature of the past, & from now on Tim Burton will be a crappy commercial director who casts big stars & causes them to overact uninterestingly.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl