Answering Questions Asked Through Google XXXIV

Today’s question is kinda serious… amazingly enough.

“what is the theme of big fish by daniel [Wallace]”?

In my review I said it was about

the creation of myths, of the truths in stories, of the dangers of interpretation and the meaning of lies.

Other themes are redemption and reconciliation, understanding another human being and what makes family. But mostly it’s about what makes the identity of a man or a woman – their accomplishments or their dreams?

In any case, it’s a novel that can handle and deserves a lot of thought – and as usual, interpretations are very personal. So I guess it would be best to see what you can gather from the novel, not what I can get from it.

Big Fish (Daniel Wallace)

Big Fish is the novel by Daniel Wallace Tim Burton based his wonderful movie on.

Plot:
Edmund Bloom lived his life to the fullest and always told fantastic stories about it. His son William always saw him as the biggest liar. Now, Edmund is dying and William is trying to reconcile the father and the stories into one whole picture he can comprehend.

The book is a lot like the movie (or better, the movie is a lot like the book). The stories are wonderful by themselves, but in the context, they are even better. I really liked it.

big-fish

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Penelope (2006)

Penelope, Penelope, why can’t more movies be like you?

Just so you know, I absolutely loved every frickin detail of this story. Starting with the plot, continuing with the characters, ending with set/production/costume design. Oh, and let’s not forget the beautiful message this movie sends, which actually makes sense.

Penelope is the daughter of a rich, aristocratic family. Unfortunately, she was cursed and is born with a pig nose. In an attempt to keep her safe until the nose is gone and the curse lifted, her parents lock her in at home and bring her one blue-blooded husband contender after the other, in the hopes that he’s Mr Right.

The setting is magical realism (tor has a great essay up on magical realism), the style reminded me of Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium or Big Fish. And it really made me want more movies set in worlds like that. In literature, it’s pretty prevalent (think Gabriel García Márquez or Haruki Murakami among others), in movies, it’s not. Very sad.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Christina Ricci is a wonderful Penelope, sweet and naive, but also strong and powerful, filled with purpose and a sharp mind. Catherine O’Hara is the well-meaning mother of everybody’s nightmares. James McAvoy, Reese Witherspoon, Peter Dinklage, Simon Woods and Russell Brand (who is everywhere nowadays) complete a perfect and very funny cast.

As I said before, I loved the design of the whole thing – Penelope’s clothes, her room, the city… it all fits the general mood of the movie and is just extremely pretty. And magic.

What it boils down to is that it’s a wonderful fairy tale that reminds you that the world is kind of enchanted. When you look at it closely.

And it’s actually a movie that got 10 out of 10 points on my list.

9

Following baph’s recommendation I watched The Nines. That’s one weird movie.

It is very well done, there are a lot of details that I really, really liked and after the plot twist is revealed everything fits. The acting is very good, as well. You notice that it’s thoroughly thought through and I don’t think that there’s anything that doesn’t go with the explanation. [Congratulations to John August! But what else to expect from the writer of Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Corpse Bride. On the other hand, it’s nothing you’d expect from the writer of Charlie’s Angels and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, which are fun, but not necessarily the best movies in the world.]

But I didn’t like the ending very much. I don’t like it, when people resort to really weird supernatural explanations, although I have to admit that I couldn’t think of anything less strange to finish the story with. Also, I don’t like it when the ending is explained and you get shots of the clues hidden in the movie to go with the explanation. I prefer to think of them on my own.

It’s worth a watch and then you can go to the imdb forum and discuss if you think that you are a nine.