Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Big Fish Writing Assignment

Director Tim Burton presented us a great movie; it was filled up with love, myth, and dreams. The movie was Big Fish. When I read the book, I liked this book and thought it was great. The author Daniel Wallace wrote the story between son and his father. The father always tells the son unbelievable stories such as the two-head woman, the giant and the special eye which could predict future. The son doesn’t believe them. But all the stories are true, the son knows after his father’s death. It was a warm story-Big Fish.

So the question is here, what should he do to shorten the novel with details to a short movie? How to keep the original style? These are common problems to transfer novel to movie. But Burton successfully did it; even though he changed some things, it was still like the novel. Sometimes, the story was really changed. For example, the strange villages are different in movie and book. I think the movie version was better because many children may see this movie, and the villagers who were in the book having lost their fingers would be little scary for them. In the book, there were many different short stories and they didn’t have obvious relations. In some cases, Burton merged several stories into one story. I think that was good; if the movie 100% copied the book that would be messy and ambiguous.

However, I learned so much from this movie not only the wonderful story, but also the love, the love among family. All of us came from little children, it’s undeniable. When we were young, we liked to do something silly, believe in magic, and listen to mythic stories. Like the movie, when Will was a litter boy, he always asked his father to tell stories before bedtime. Moreover, he truly believed these stories so that he got nightmares sometimes. But he was growing up gradually. He began to not believe what his father said. In the beginning of the movie, a big fish story was told through a long time from young Will to his wedding by the father. After his father finished the story in the wedding, Will felt upset; he felt his father took the focus away from him, and he didn't talk with his father for a long time. Several years later, when the father was dying, Will came home to see him and recollect his father’s life. However, Will did not believe that; he though his father had another family. He asked his father to tell the truth and told his father there was a misunderstanding between them; he just wanted to know who his father was. The father said all of them which he told were true. Finally, in the hospital, before the father died, he asked Will to describe how he died. It was a weird question. Will though for a little while, then he began his story: he carried his father and broke out of the hospital, then he drove his father to the river, they saw the giant on the road; at the river, everybody appeared there, everybody, they said goodbye to Edward, but no one was sad; Will laid Edward into the water, Edward became a big fish and swam away. Will fell into weeping while finishing the last story, the father was dead. In the end of the movie, at the father’s funeral, everybody came, including the giant, the two-headed women.

Will, the son, understood his father at the end. Maybe we understood as well. His father told those stories because he wanted to make it fancy and interesting. When we were young, we liked incredible stories. But when we grew up, we didn’t believe them anymore. The stories don’t change, the only thing changed are our hearts. However, there is another thing that will never ever change and that is love. Those lies are a span of love, so much love.

Maybe that is the most important thing which the novel and the movie want to tell us.