"a delicate soft spoken tale about love and friendship which celebrate the origins of an intricate culture deeply rooted in its traditions"
Set in a fantastic reality, Big Fish & Begonia celebrates the Chinese heritage with an emotional animated film about love, honour and friendship. Written and directed by Xuan Liang and Chun Zhang, Big Fish & Begonia take place in a parallel world in which powerful beings are in charge of the elements and have control over the season, time and space.
Once they become 16 years old, every magical being has to explore the Earth to discover how their elements affect the human world. The only important rule they have to follow is that, during their journey, they can't be discovered by men or women. During her discovery trip, Chun finds herself in grave danger and a young man, Kun, rescues her at the cost of his own life.
Deeply affected by the event, once she is back in her land, Chun is ready to break all the rules to save Kun’s soul and give him back to his sister. During her journey of discovery Chun learns how deceiving the Gods can be and who her real friends are.
A project that took years to be made, Big Fish & Begonia is an emotional celebration of the Chinese culture and belief. This animated feature has all the characteristics of a great anime; the colours are vibrant and bright and the drawings are typical of the most beautiful manga and anime that had the luck and privilege to find distribution in the Western world.
All the characters are well rounded and evolve through their journey; Chun is a strong female lead. Her actions are moving and motivated by her heart. Her sense of honour and love brings her to sacrifice herself to save Kun as well as her own people.
Along with her, Qiu is the other main protagonist that matures and evolve throughout the film. At first he only seems a marginal companion, who serves the purpose to just be there for Chun and act as the silly joker to bring comic relief in the story. However, in the end, he is the only character who makes the ultimate sacrifice for love and redeem himself and his past actions.
In the film, religion and culture are integral part of the story. The Chinese heritage is celebrated in all its glory. The fantastic aspect of the movie is unique and fascinating, making it easy for the audience to understand the cultural references without having to westernise them.
Mythology is at the forefront and, in the film, good and evil are equally portrayed to maintain the balance between these two universal forces.
Since love, honour, trust and deception are all part of the plot, the story is designed to deeply move the audience and makes them emotionally invested in Chun and Kun’s adventure. The film is told by Chun’s voice and it adds a layer of nostalgia but, at the same time, a sense of relief and hope knowing that the outcome will be positive.
Like many animated Chinese features, Big Fish & Begonia is a delicate soft spoken tale about love and friendship which celebrate the origins of an intricate culture deeply rooted in its traditions.