Big Fish

Although March is just around the corner, Hokkaido dwellers know better than to start planning the first picnic of the year just yet; rather, we brace ourselves for another couple of months of long wintry evenings. If you sometimes wonder what to do at home, here is a movie that could disctract you for a couple of hours from the blizzard that’s raging outside.

It’s called Big Fish. Made in 2003 by Tim Burton, it features some great actors, such as Ewan Mc Gregor, Jessica Lange and Albert Finney. It takes place in the Southern United States and tells the story of Edward Bloom. As a former traveling salesman, Edward was often away from home, and would come back with incredible tales that he claimed had happened to him. His talent for storytelling and larger-than-life personality have made him much loved by everyone who has known him except his son, Will. Will resents the fact that his father never tells the plain truth and feels like he doesn’t know him at all. In fact, father and son haven’t talked to each other in years. One day, Edward falls suddenly very ill, and Will and his pregnant wife fly over to visit him. Despite his failing health, his appetite for entertaining people with his stories is intact, and he takes advantage of the presence of Will’s wife to tell his tales one more time and to take us into a world full of fantastic and colorful characters. The world of Edward Bloom.

With Big Fish, Tim Burton, a wonderful storyteller himself, doesn’t just deal with the serious topics of parent-child relationships and the loss of a loved one, but shows us an alternative way to live one’s life, halfway between dream and reality. If, like me, you like to think that fact and fiction don’t always have to be very different, Big Fish might soon become one of your favorite movies.

Seb

3月はもうすぐそこというのに、札幌の人たちは春のピクニックのことを考えるよりも、あと残りのまだまだ続く冬をどんな風に過ごそうかと考えています。そこで、吹雪で外出できないような日に何をしようか…と考えている人にお勧めなのがこの映画。

2003年公開の、ティム・バートン監督の「ビッグ・フィッシュ」。イワン・マクレガー、ジェシカ・ラング、アルバート・フィニーと出演陣も豪華です。舞台は南アメリカ、エドワード・ブルームという男の物語です。元旅行代理店のエドワードはいつも仕事で家には戻れないのですが、帰省する度に自身に起こった信じられない話をしてくれるのです。彼の話の上手さとひと際目立った人気者の性格で、彼は誰からも愛される存在です。しかし、息子のウィルは少し違います。ウィルはいつも大げさに話す父を見て、本当の父の姿を知らないようでとても気に入らなかったのです。父と息子は何年にも渡って言葉を交わしません。ある日、エドワードが突然の病で倒れてしまった時、ウィルと妊娠中の妻はエドワードに会いに行きます。エドワードの食欲は減る一方ですが、物語で人々を楽しませようとする思いはどんどん増すばかり。そして、もう一度素敵でカラフルに彩られた登場人物達でいっぱいの世界へ連れ出すのです。エドワード・ブルームの世界へ。

彼自身も素晴らしい語り手だというティム・バートンは、「ビッグ・フィッシュ」でただ親子関係や親子愛の喪失など、真面目な問題を取り上げているだけではなく、夢と現実の狭間でも人生には色々な選択肢があるということを教えてくれます。私のように、現実とフィクションの物語がいつも異なるとは限らないと思っているなら、「ビッグ・フィッシュ」はお気に入り映画の一つになるはずです。

セバ