Throughout the flashbacks, the movie uses the metaphor of “a big fish in a small pond” to describe Edward as a young man. He made such a large impact on everyone that he saw through his adventure, ambition and overall success in life. The title can also be interpreted in the most literal sense as the Large Catfish that is myth in the Movie. Also as some people say “A Big Fish Tale” and as Edward Bloom tells it, so was his life. There is also multiple meaning in the town of Spectre, it means different things at different times. It was the town that Edward had always hoped to find, but he never found it at the right time.
In his life, he dreamed of a place like Spectre but left to do bigger things. Later in life, he bought over the town when he wasn’t there to save in it’s hour of need. It’s not that he was lying about his life, it’s that he simply saw it through a different perspective. I think this movie viewpoint is a about the joy of delusion. Remembering things the way they make you feel better. Having a Grandpa that told crazy stories that were exaggerated would the story, when played out bit by bit, be possibly more grand than the actuality.
The way that some of the characters in his stories showed up at his funeral, but some not exactly as he’d said, furthers the point. At the end of it all, it comes down to the way you prefer to remember your life, if you’re a little off or stretch it a bit, does it really matter? William is struggling with really knowing his father throughout the film. In spite of him, in his dad’s last moments he participates with him in the dream that was his life, even though he knew it wasn’t the full truth.
In my opinion, Big Fish is an exercise in remembering events in your life the way you want to remember them, because when the everything falls into place, what are you left with? Or more importantly, what legacy do you want to leave behind? For Big Fish you could make it work but showing the difference between the way the story looked in the beginning and the how things fell into place at the funeral in the end. The physical reality of them was not the same as we were lead to believe but it never mattered, it’s the moral that counted. That was truth.