Sunday, December 14, 2003

"Father! Father! I've found you!" and then the old man says "Pinnochio?"

I saw Big Fish today. When I first saw the trailer, it intrigued me. Then I found out that it was based on a book, so I read the book. Then the movie opened in few theaters in LA, so MacArthur and Erico Suave invited me to go with them.

Overall, I thought it was great. I really enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book. The book was basically a compilation of many short short (like 1-3 page) stories about Edward Bloom. The stories were fascinating and very funny. Then there are 4 longer parts that take place at the bedside of a dying Edward Bloom. The story is all about this man and his incredible life that seems way too far-fetched to believe. And as his son William grows up hearing these stories over and over, William grows tired of it because he wants to know his real father. But Edward will never ever tell him anything straight.

Anyway, reading the book is kinda hard. The reading is easy, but it's very hard to distinguish what is a tall tale and what is real. And this becomes the overall theme of the story. What's fake and what's not? The answer is, who cares? Sometimes it's better to hear fantastic and outlandish stories than the dull and hurtful truth. And it's important to carry this tradition.

Okay, well as I said, I liked the first 2/3 of the book. During the last couple chapters, it hit me with realism and then ended in a very strange way that I did not understand. So, I kinda just closed the book and shrugged my shoulders and went "huh. okay. whatever."

Now, to the movie. There are many things that are different from the book. Could be different or maybe I just don't remember reading that. For one thing, I don't remember a circus ever being in the book. Also, in the book, we meet characters and they disappear when the story is done. They don't come back. In the movie, characters reappear over and over, which I think was done very well. During the movie, I kept thinking that this was a very nice and personal film in and in itself.

Now to the ending. The film's ending was awesome! It cleared things up for my in the book. Turns out I read it wrong. But where the book ended, I thought the movie should have ended. I can't really talk about it without giving away the movie. I feel as if they extended the ending to further explain the moral to the audience; i.e. dumbed it down for the mainstream. But, the extended ending was good too, but it makes you wonder less about the movie. HERE! (SPOILER WARNING!!! Do NOT read any more of this paragraph if you don't want the ending spoiled!) At the end of the book, it ends when the dad turns into a fish, like he was preparing for his whole life. In the movie, they show the father die and proceed to show his funeral and all the characters of his tall tales come down to the funeral and William sees that his stories were true. After the funeral, they all talk and tell of their stories with Edward and how he touched their lives. Then we see William carrying on this tradition with his son. The problem with this ending is that they confirm the tall tales. I like the ambiguity of it all. Was the dad lying? Most likely. But that's the way he told it. When William tells his father about how he changes into a fish, this is enough explanation of him learning that telling a lie is sometimes better than the real thing (that he must keep on telling tall tales). But that last tale was so well executed that I can forgive. It made me all teary-eyed.

Okay end spoilers

So overall, I enjoyed it greatly and would buy it on DVD. I recommend reading the book before seeing the movie. The book is really easy reading and has way more meaning than I could ever decipher. I think I'll read the book again as soon as Cat is done with it.

We went to the Grove to see the movie which is really nice.

Tomorrow continues the "Dynamite December Daze" with the Cirque Du Soleil show "Varekai." Expect another blog tomorrow.

Banging the milk lady,