Rating: * * * *
By: Keyur Seta
A real story that deals with treachery, plagiarism and some amount of tragedy is obviously expected to have its share of serious or sad moments. But despite Tim Burton’s Big Eyes dealing with the aforementioned elements, it manages to be a delightful and peaceful saga and that too while doing complete justice to the subject at hand.
Big Eyes tells the real life story of artist Margaret Keane. In 1958 in North California, Margaret (Amy Adams) flees from her abusive husband along with her daughter and settles in San Francisco. As she loves painting, she becomes a street painter that draws people’s sketches. Frankly, she has no other career skill. She specializes in drawing big eyes of their subjects as she feels eyes always reveal everything.
As sheer co-incidence, Margaret meets Walter (Christoph Waltz), a fellow street painter. He encourages her to be a bit cunning and dream big. Their friendship soon blossoms into love and they get married. But can Margaret trust Walter?
The basic story is developed hurriedly at the start. But you don’t mind that since it doesn’t stop you from getting completely involved and feel for the characters of Margaret and her daughter. The proceedings become streamlined after the character of Walter is introduced and the goodness in terms of the writing and presentation is carried on till the climax that is both moving and hilarious.
But a massive twist in the second half and its presentation becomes the biggest reason for the film being such a well-made product. The amusing thing is that the twist was always in your face from the start but you never noticed or thought about it.
The writers have purposely stayed away from keeping melodrama at bay. This surely works well, but in doing that, they haven’t added conflict elements even when it was required. This probably is the only major negative point one can think of.
Bruno Delbonnel’s camerawork is also largely responsible for the film being so pleasing. It is sheer joy to see the colorful visuals and streets from his lenses. The art designer also deserves similar praise for creating the old era of the 1950s and 1960s with perfection. Some soulful background tunes add to the pleasure.
Coming to the performances, Amy Adams is excellent! She displays absolute perfection while playing Margaret Keane. There is not even a moment when you can stop feeling for her. She is rightly being nominated for the Oscars for this act.
Christoph Waltz too brings alive the cunning and funny character of Walter through his abilities. Having said this, you also can’t ignore that he is becoming repetitive. As the younger daughter of Margaret, Delaney Raye displays mature acting skills. Madeleine Arthur, as the older one, is decent and so are the rest of the actors.
Overall: Big Eyes is a peaceful saga that fills you with joy. The film has the ability to impress even those who don’t or hardly watch Hollywood.
Director: Tim Burton
Producers: Silverwood Films, Electric City Entertainment and Tim Burton Productions
Writers: Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski
Cast: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Delaney Raye
Genre: Biopic/ Drama