REVIEW: BIG FISH

CAST
Ewan McGregor (Mordecai)
Albert Finney (Skyfall)
Billy Crudup (Watchmen)
Jessica Lange (Cape Fear)
Helena Bonham Carter (Sweney Todd)
Alison Lohman (Drag Me To Hell)
Robert Guillaume (Benson)
Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises)
David Denman (Power Rangers)
Missi Pyle (Gone Girl)
Steve Buscemi (Ghost World)
Ada Tai (Rush Hour)
Arlene Tai (Painkiller Jane)
Danny DeVito (Batman Returns)
Deep Roy (Star Trek Into Dasrkness)
Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana)
At his son Will’s wedding party, Edward Bloom recalls the tale of the day Will was born, claiming he successfully caught an enormous catfish using his wedding ring as bait. Will, having heard these stories all his life, believes them to be lies and falls out with his father. Three years on, Edward has fallen ill with terminal cancer, Will returning to his childhood home, accompanied by his pregnant wife Joséphine. Edward’s life is told through flashbacks, beginning with his encounter with a witch in his hometown Ashton, who shows him his death but he reacts no fear to it. As he grows into adulthood, he found his home too small and set out with a misunderstood giant Karl.
Edward and Karl find a fork in the road and travel down separate paths. Edward follows a path through a swamp and discovers the secret town of Spectre, the cheery locals claiming he was expected. There, he befriends Ashton poet Norther Winslow and the mayor’s daughter Jenny. However, Edward leaves Spectre, unwilling to settle down but promises Jenny he will return. In the present day, Joséphine speaks to the bed-ridden Edward and asks him to tell her the story of how he met his wife Sandra, with Will listening outside the door. Edward reunites with Karl and they visit the Calloway Circus, where Edward falls in love with a beautiful woman. Along with Karl, Edward gets a job in the circus where the ringmaster Amos Calloway reveals to him trivia about the woman at the end of every month.
Three years on, Edward discovers Amos is secretly a werewolf but shows no ill-will towards his employer. Amos, upon returning to normal, reveals the woman is Sandra, and she attends Auburn University. Edward confesses his love to Sandra but she declines his wedding proposal despite numerous romantic gestures. He then learns she is already engaged to Don Price, a fellow Ashton citizen. Don beats Edward, prompting Sandra to break off their engagement and she marries Edward. Shortly after, Edward is conscripted into the army and sent to fight in the Korean War. He parachutes into the middle of a North Korean military show, steals important documents, and convinces Siamese twins Ping and Jing to help him go home in exchange for making them celebrities.
Upon returning home, Edward becomes a travelling salesman and crosses paths with Winslow, unwittingly helping him rob a failing bank, inspiring the poet to work on Wall Street. In the present, Will investigates the truth behind his father’s tales and travels to Spectre. He meets an older Jenny, who explains Edward rescued the town from bankruptcy and rebuilt it with help from his friends. Will suggests Jenny had an affair with his father, but she reveals while she loved Edward, he remained loyal to Sandra. Will returns home but learns Edward has had a stroke and stays with him at the hospital.
Edward wakes up but, unable to speak much, asks Will to narrate how his life ends. Though struggling, Will tells his father of their imagined daring escape from the hospital to the nearby lake, where everyone from Edward’s past is there to see him off. Will takes Edward into the river, where he transforms into the giant catfish and swims away. A satisfied Edward passes away, knowing Will understands his love for storytelling. At the funeral, Will and Joséphine are surprised when all the people from Edward’s stories come to the service, though less fantastical than described. Will, understanding his father’s love for life, passes on Edward’s stories to his own son.
Big Fish is a truly marvelous film, a tear-jerking, smile-inducing journey through a whole bag of fairy-tales, all wrapped up in the evolving relationship between a good son and his larger-than-life father.
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