Big Fish (opening scene)
There are some fish
that cannot be caught.
It's not that they're faster
or stronger than other fish.
They're just touched
by something extra.
One such fish was The Beast.
And by the time I was born
he was already a legend.
He'd passed up more $100 lures
than any fish in Alabama.
Some said that fish was
the ghost of a thief...
...who'd drowned in that river
Others claimed he was a dinosaur
left over from the "Cruaceous" Period.
I didn't put any stock into
such speculation or superstition.
All I knew was I'd been trying
to catch that fish...
...since I was a boy
no bigger than you.
And on the day you were born...
Well, that was the day
I finally caught him.
Now, I'd tried everything on it:
Worms, lures, peanut butter,
peanut butter and cheese.
But on that day I had a revelation:
If that fish was Henry Walls' ghost,
then the usual bait wasn't gonna work.
I was gonna have to use something
he truly desired.
(- Your finger?)
Now, I tied my ring onto
the strongest line they made...
...strong enough to hold up a bridge,
they said, if only for a few minutes.
And then I cast upriver.
The Beast jumped up and grabbed it
before it even hit the water.
And just as fast,
he snapped clean through that line.
Well, you can see my predicament.
My wedding ring,
the symbol of fidelity to my wife...
...soon to be mother of my child...
(- Make him stop.)
...was now lost in the gut
of an uncatchable fish.
What did you do?
I followed that fish upriver
This fish, The Beast...
...the whole time we were calling it
a him, when in fact it was a her.
It was fat with eggs
it was gonna lay any day.
Now, I was in a situation.
I could gut that fish
and get my wedding ring back...
...but in doing so I'd be killing the
smartest catfish in the Ashton River.
Did I want to deprive
my son the chance...
...to catch a fish like this
of his own?
This ladyfish and I...
- Well, we had the same destiny.
- "We were part of the same equation."
Now, you may well ask...
(Oh, darling, darling,
it's still your night.)
...why did it strike so quick on gold
when nothing else would attract it?
That was the lesson
I learned that day...
...the day my son was born.
Sometimes the only way to catch
an uncatchable woman...
...is to offer her a wedding ring.
What, a father's not allowed
to talk about his son?
(I'm a footnote in that story, Dad... ...the context for your great adventure,
which never happened, incidentally. You were selling novelty products
in Wichita when I was born.)
Come on, Will.
Everyone loves that story!
(They don't. I don't love that story. Not
anymore. Not after a thousand times! I know every punch line, Dad.
I can tell them as well as you can!
For one night,
one night in your entire life...
...the universe did not revolve
around Edward Bloom.
- How can you not understand that?)
- I'm sorry to embarrass you.
You're embarrassing yourself, Dad.
You just don't see it.
After that night, I didn't speak
to my father again for three years.
We communicated indirectly, I guess. In her letters and Christmas cards,
my mother wrote for both of them.
And when I'd call, she'd say Dad was
out driving or swimming in the pool.
True to form, we never
talked about not talking.
The truth is, I didn't see anything
of myself in my father.
And I don't think he saw anything
of himself in me.
We were like strangers
who knew each other very well.
In telling the story
of my father's life...
...it's impossible to separate fact
from fiction, the man from the myth.
The best I can do
is to tell it the way he told me.
It doesn't always make sense,
and most of it never happened.
But that's what kind of story this is.
written by Wallace & August