I see this so differently. This is my 4th time watching, and I see a narcissist father, and the devastating impact on his son. In the end, the son comes to terms with the fact that his relationship with his dad will ultimately always be about his dad. As a parent, I believe that parents are supposed to put their own ego aside for the sake of their children. This father never did so, and the son was devastated. In the end, the son came to see that the father needed the drama and largess of his own stories to feel important, and, in the end, the son accepted that. While his father had not been there for him, he could gain peace for himself by being there for his dad. In entertaining his stories, buying into the grandiosity of his stories and adding a fantastical ending, the son accepted his father in all of his humanity. He accepted that his dad wasn't perfect, and he learned that all parents are human first, parents second. The son, in the father's death, grew up.
At first, when the movie ended, i didnt understand it. I saw the movie with my friend and we both agreed that its all about your perspective on life. I agree with the fact that there are a lot of metaphors in it, but in the end, the meaning of the movie becomes rather easy to understand. You don't have to go through life in a boring way. Make something special of your life, go out and meet new people, discover things, leave something behind for your children so you can, in fact, live forever in the stories they tell about you.
In my perspective this whole movie is about a man that was always a step behind his ideas. At the beginning he was early to go to the specta town, so he took off to see the rest of the world first, But he fell in love. only that he spent 3 years trying to gain it. in this state, it would have been the right time to go to specta, but the war needed him. He was late again, and his wife thought he was already dead. Then, he had a son(to whose birth he was late) When this was the right time to look after him, he founds out about specta being destroyed because of his delaying. So he tries to fix it concluding to abandoning his son. In his dying end, when he should have died the way his son tells him, he is late and has no time or energy left until morning. He dies and he is not on time, as he wanted.
Also, about other meanings. The movie begins with him getting a ring of the biggest fishes on the lake. He caught the big fish, In the end, he turns himself into a big fish, after he took a ring out of his mouth and gave it to his wife. Becoming a fish in specta's river also means that he became something like the naked woman he saw, which represented the 'big fish that can't be caught and seems different in everyone's eyes; which means dead people become fish in specta's river, which renders specta some kind of afterlife place.
I strongly believe that specta is a town from the future. The little girl he meets later becomes the which with the glass eye(in which you can see the future). She knows how everyone dies, that's why when edward and his friends are little they can know 'how they go'
Another metaphor used in the movie is the 'Big Fish Tall tale'. Like the fisherman tells a story about a big fish he almost caught and every time he tells the story the fish becomes bigger. This happens with edward. At the beginning he was just living his life. then he started seeing things with a different perspective and finally started telling these stories from the perspective he liked to watch these facts. I also think that in this way he was trying to encourage his son to make his stories a bit more 'decorated' that's why he lets him decide his death. In anyway, Edward understands that in reality his life is sad (war, 3 years away from his love, abandoning his child, being late/early but never in the right timing, working on a circus, living on the street, his car gone) he is practically a very unlucky man. But because he understand this, he tries to change his point of view through telling his life story differently, the way he would have liked it to be. This proves that real life is not as exciting as in our heads, but we have the choice of believing it is exciting, and by believing so, we make it exciting.
This movie has way too many metaphors and it will probably keep me awake for the night. It could be life-changing to the right person.
The film is shot through the eyes of a small child. His father has always talked in cliches and the child interprets them literally, visualising what appears to be tall tales, when it's only meant as colourful and descriptive story telling. These impressions lasted into the child's adult years. How many times have we heard the cliches that were used in the movie? Time stands still, he was a giant, he ate a whole sheep for dinner, joined at the hip, hung up his shoes........
What would an impressionable child think of these? The son finally gets it when his father is dying, with help from the explanation from the Dr.
I disagree with you, Mus Kus Serb, the Movie Big Fish is a modern Tall Tale that shows that what's true is never as exciting. The title itself is the biggest Symbol and Meaning within the movie. As Edward Bloom said, he was a big fish in a little pond, therefore, the title means his ambition and overall success in life. The title can also be interpreted in the most literal sense as the Large Catfish that is myth in the Movie/Book. Also, the most famous euphemism for hyperbole is "A Big Fish Tale," and as Edward Bloom tells it, so was his life. It is impossible to force one meaning into the town of Spectre, as it means different things at different times. The best way to explain it is the town that Edward Bloom had always hoped to find, but he never quite found it at the right time. At the earliest in his life, he'd dreamed of a magnificent place (Spectre from the beginning) but he knew he wanted to see the rest of the world first. Later in life, as he saw it was necessary, he had to bail out the town that he'd not been there to save in it's hour of need. It's not that he was lying about his life, it's that he simply saw it through a different perspective.
After watching the film, a lot of our class interpreted it in different views. We believe that Burton uses great techniques to emphasise all the hidden messages throughout this movie. We love how he incorporates the themes of destiny, immortality through storytelling, love, reconciliation, death, fantasy and reality. Burton uses water as a symbolic element of the healing between father and son. The reconciliation between Edward and William is shown strongly in the final scene when the water cleanses them through death.
The post above me copied me.
Big fish is a hidden treasure within a lot of blockbuster garbage. It is a fantastic, charming story that is a tearjerker for me every single time. Each time I watch it, I discover another piece of symbolism and meaning. Putting aside it's symbolism, there is humour, romance and the rebuild of a father and son relationship. The film of course is about a big fish in a small pond, Edward bloom, a man of great ambition and desire to succeed is a role model we should all follow. We should constantly try and develop and make the most of our lives and never settle for average. At the end of the movie, I believe his stories! What would you rather, a normal life or a fantastical, magical life where you met a giant, conjoined twins or found out how you were going to die from an eye? It's a film we can all take something from, whether that being to be more ambitious or even to tell our children more interesting bedtime stories! Too many people read 'Tim Burton' and automatically judge. This is different. This is special and it is wonderful and must be watched.
Big Fish seems to be much deeper than initially viewed. The underlying concept, that I feel is observed, is that the mind is hindered by its own beliefs. It shows that what seems possible is actually within everyone's grasp once the person finally realizes that the door to opportunity is unlocked with the ability to broaden the spectrum of our minds. The characters are simply a basis for leading to a final conclusion that the concepts of real and fake are sedated by what we believe to be true. When we come to the realization that opportunity really is awaiting, all we have to do is seek it and challenge the grounds of what is imaginable and test the limits of obstacles set before us.
Good interpretations of this movie, but Im going to chime in on my view of what this movie was about. It did have everything to do with a son coming to grips with the issues he has with his father, before the fathers death. As far as the fathers stories they were all true, he did meet all of these people he talked about, but I think that when the son meets these people he realizes that it was his imagination that created these larger than life characters. The son was so serious about everything in the end he realizes that it was in fact himself who created the people in his head as he thought they would look.
Me too I've been looking for interpretations on this movie and so far none seems to see it the way I do.
In my humble opinion, leaving aside Tall Tales and the fact that a man's life is the way he wants it told, Big Fish is about the last encounter between a son and his dad right at the very end of his life. There comes a moment in the adult life where we feel we don't understand our parents anymore, we seem to lose touch somehow and we often have the feeling that we speak a totally different language. Big Fish is about the moment where the son is finally capable of seeing through his father's eyes, he finally understands his old man's stories and every single thing that once sounded like utter nonsense to the son makes sense in the end. He finally gets to understand and know his dad before he passes away.
I've been searching meanings for this movie and it is much much more than an old man's exaggerated tales of his younger self. It is about a man searching for a life in a world that can never quite fit his stature and his lack of timing to live in the beautiful and perfect town of Specta. It is about a man's decision to leave society's expectations and persue his own adventures, which he tries in his own way to teach his son.
This movie is pretty much all metaphors and how one man sees life. I wouldn't say he's lying, he just sees the world through a different perspective, he sees it more fantastical than ordinary people. Because of this, he is able to leave the Earth in as wonderfully celebrated way as he arrived...