Big Fish by Daniel Wallace

1267 Words3 Pages

In Daniel Wallace’s novel, Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions and Tim Burton’s film, Big Fish, the relationship between the dying protagonist, Edward Bloom and his estranged son, William Bloom, is centrally to the story in both the novel and film. Like many fathers in today's society, Edward Bloom wishes to leave his son with something to remember him by after he is dead. It is for this reason the many adventures of Edward Bloom are deeply interwoven into the core of all the various stories Edward tells to mystify his son with as a child. Despite the many issues father and son have in their tense relationship as adults, Daniel Wallace and Tim Burton’s adaptation of Wallace’s novel focalizes on the strained relationship between Edward Bloom and William Bloom. In both Wallace’s novel and Burton’s film, they effectively portray how the relationship between Edward Bloom and William Bloom is filled with bitter resentment and indifference towards each other. Only with William’s attempt to finally reconcile with his dying father and navigating through his father fantastical fables does those established feelings of apathy and dislike begin to wane. With Burton’s craftily brilliant reconstruction of Wallace’s story does the stories of Edward Bloom and his son blossom onto screen. Within the very beginning of the film, the wonderful portrayal of William by Billy Crudup gives the audience a lasting impression by Burton of the blatant resentment and distain William has towards his father and his mythological stories. Wallace, while more subtle in his method to reveal the underlying anger of William towards Edward, does not make it any less apparent than Burton of the obvious indifference William feels towards his father. In Burton’s ... ... middle of paper ... ...her and son is what ultimately makes the story so gripping with audiences and readers alike because of the subsequent evolution in the nature of their relationship as the story progresses. With each telling and retelling of Edward Bloom’s stories, the reader and William both gain a little more insight in the enigma who is Edward Bloom. Despite the resentment and anger that dominates William’s feelings for his father, his ability to strive to make peace and make sense of his mystifying father, who has always eluded his own comprehension, is significant to anyone who has ever felt disconnect with a dying family member. Works Cited Burton, Tim, dir. Big Fish. Writ. Daniel Wallace and John August. 2004. Sony Pictures, 2005. DVD-ROM. Wallace, Daniel. Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions. North Carolina: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2012. N. pag. Print.

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