(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Big Eyes has definitely brought back some movie making mojo for Tim Burton, it had an interesting story with some good acting, even though those paintings with the Big Eyes were creepy looking. Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.
Tom Burton is probably one of the most creative directors I have known in movie history. The characters and worlds he created have been etched in our minds for the rest of our lives. Some of his memorable movies were memorable because the characters were great. For example, the character Beetlejuice in Beetlejuice, Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd, and Edward Scissorshands in Edward Scissorshands. However, one character that I really appreciate, because it started this character’s movies is being the first director to create Batman. Lately, it seems Burton has been on the downfall lately with remakes that flopped like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Planet of the Apes, and other flopped movies like Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows. It wasn’t for his lack of creativity, but maybe people were getting tired of his work. So now he took on a less budgeted job with Big Eyes, and I believe he might make a comeback with this movie (As long Johnny Depp is around). I will start with what I like, the so so, to what I didn’t like.
What I like, the story of this movie is very intriguing, and to find out that it is a true story made it even more intriguing and interesting to see what happens. The story touched on two things, and the major part is about plagiarism. It is about a painter named Margaret Keane, played by Amy Adams, whose style of painting is portraits of people with really big (and creepy) eyes. When she remarried to Walter Keane, played by Christoph Waltz, who is also an artist and works hard in selling both of their portraits. When Margaret’s big eyes paintings started selling, he stated that he actually painted it, because he believes if a guy painted it, it will sell more. Margaret didn’t like the idea at first, but decided to go with it because it was selling. It started to become an icon where Walter is getting all the credit, and it really started taking a toll on Margaret. However, she knows that if she says anything, it will ruin their business that is booming. They become millionaires, and her work was going to be showed in the New York Fair, where Walter makes her paint a masterpiece, however, that painting wasn’t well recieved which really angered Walter, and started to blame Margaret and become very abusive to her. It got to a point where she managed to leave him and move to Hawaii. The other point in this story is how in the 50’s and 60’s the men really dominate the culture over women in every aspect including their own marriage. The machismo attitude was in an all time high during those times and women didn’t have much say in anything. The acting between Adams and Waltz, you can sense that make domination where Walter makes all the decisions without talking it over with his wife, and how weak Margaret was when she is trying to say something. Adams does a good job of playing a very timid character, and Waltz did a tremondous job of playing the vocal and dominate character. I also liked how they make Walter a likable character, and then become a obsessive, arrogant, and delusional liar. Two scenes that I really enjoyed watching was that scene where Walter becomes crazy after the failed masterpiece. He got to a point where he tried to burn his family. Waltz did a great job in acting crazy, and it definitely was a scene stealer. The other scene I liked was the trial scene. After Margaret moved to Hawaii, she decided to come out and tell the truth and sue Walter for plagerism. The trial happened which Walter thought he was going to get away with it, but even his own lawyers quit on him. I liked the fact that the judge of the trial just had both of them do a paint off pretty much, and Walter was left with nothing, and even to a point of faking an injury, while Margaret paints her signature Big Eyes, and winning the trial. Director Tim Burton did direct a work of art in this movie which really brings back his old classic work like Edward Scissorshands and Beetlejuice. The cinematography of the movie was tremondous, and gave a great contrast of colorful to darkness. For the colorful parts Burton really brings the beauty of the cities like San Francisco and Honolulu. It reminded of the movie Edward Scissorshands and how Burton makes a regular suburban town to a colorfully splendid place to live. The dark scenes were lighted perfectly to really bring out the scenes where something bad or unpleasant is going to happen. Especially the scene with Walter going crazy was executed and filmed perfectly. I believe Burton really went back to his basics to create a good movie that people can enjoy.
The so so, it is not a Tim Burton movie without some creepiness to it. In this movie it was the Big Eyes. Not to sound sarcastic, but I feel like I’m falling into darkness Everytime I’m looking into those eyes. However, I understand that it is art, and that is what is cool back in those days, and the movie needs to bring it out. The other creepy scene was when Margaret was being haunted by looking at people and she sees their eyes so huge. If that was me, it would freak me out, but Burton just has to find a way to mess with your mind one way or another. Even though the acting was good, I feel like the role really didn’t fit Amy Adams persona as an actress. She is a tremondous actress making some great movies, but here instead of being strong, she was weak. However, I understand why she was directed that way. I didn’t feel a great chemistry with Adams and Waltz, but I guess that’s the way it was suppose to be.
What I didn’t like, the whole art jargon got me lost a few times especially in the beginning of the movie. So it took me se time to really get into the film, but once I did I started to enjoy. Krysten Ritter playing Margaret’s friend DeAnn, really was suppose to be Margaret’s voice of reason, but you barely see her playing her role with importance. She was just there and that’s that, and I believe Ritter deserves better in her roles. Lastly, I was disappointed that they didn’t explain what happened to Margaret in her first marriage forcing her to separate from her husband. At the time women moving out of their homes was really taboo at the time, and I wanted to know why? I believe it would’ve developed Margaret’s character even better if we can have this piece of information. It didn’t affect the movie, but I’m just really that curious.
Overall, I’m appalled that this story really happened, but it is good to learn the dangers of plagerism, and how it might start off good, but it could tragically end. The movie also can teach you to believe in yourself and keep working hard. Sell yourself into people believing your talent, and good things can come, without people taking advantage of you!!! Final Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.