One thing I like about Tim Burton's work is his wonderful art workthat the art is always wonderful. The scenes in Sleepy Hollow are truly a wonder and Big Fish does not disappoint me either. Maybe it isn't as stunning as Sleepy Hollow, but Spectre is beautiful enough afterall.
What Big Fish surpasses Sleepy Hollow (and Planet of the Apes) is its screenplay. Big Fish is a children's tale. No scary creatures. No frightening scenes. It's almost all about an unusual adventure of a young man, and reminds me of the days when I got immersed into those fantastic stories of Just like other classic fantastic stories of Wizards of the Oz, Sleeping Beauty and many others.
I tried to distinguish truth from fiction (as in the film) when I was sitting in the cinema, but then I realised that it doesn't matter it's true or not in Big Fish. If life in reality is so boring then why don't we dream a little, of being a big fish that would never be caught? I'm not suggesting that avoiding the reality is good, but then how can we be so certain that we're not a fish ever thirsting of water and adventure? The ending scenes proved that the adventures he told of were not entirely groundless.
The pathetic thing about adults is that they are not imaginative anymore. When William was little he envied his father's heroic experiences, yet when he grew up everything turned out to be a lie to him, something to hurt him but not something to amuse him. If he had discovered sooner how Ed Bloom had been able to have noticed of the small and interesting things and people happened in his life and made use of them to write his own tale and brought others laughters and joy, he would have realised sooner that he himself was a good story-teller too: The story Will told of was almost the most fascinating one in the film. Through telling the story the son finally understood his father. It's better than a thousand explanations. This way Big Fish is a tale for grown-ups.
The scene of Ed and his wife in the bathtub is one of my most favourite part of the film. It was simply moving. And the funeral amost looked like a summer party under sunshine. It's warm as it's peaceful.
To me Tim Burton got so much to tell yet he chose the easiest way to present these ideas. We're all free to interpret the film, making Big Fish timeless, and others to expect a larger-than-life experience for their own.