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Posted on 2/15/04 12:08 PM
"Truth is, I've been thirsty my whole life."
Old Edward Bloom casually tells his daughter-in-law this little nugget of information as he is recounting one of his many exciting life stories midway through Big Fish. He seems interested in expounding upon the statement, but as is his nature, within a few moments he is off on another tangent of thought, his lifelong thirst all but forgotten. Big Fish leaves it at that and he never does get back to finish that story. He doesn't need to though. The movie gives us all the clues we need to figure the story out ourselves. Some time later in the film, old Edward's wife finds him fully clothed, submerged in a tub of water. He tells her he was drying out. She understands completely. She knows this man too well not to understand. Edward Bloom has spent his whole life in need of water, but this need is merely a symbol. His thirst, his dryness; both are simply Big Fish's way of telling us that Edward Bloom has never been a common man. He has never belonged in a common world, and commonality dries him up like a fish out of water. So Edward has spent the entirety of his life avoiding the stagnant waters of average life, and water serves as a physical manifestation of his craving for excitement.
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