Big Eyes (2014)
by Tim Burton.
In the 1950s San Francisco, the name Keane was a household name, everyone wanted a picture or a print of the iconic big eyed paintings. The man behind the paintings was Walter Keane. The twist is he is surprisingly enough not the artist but instead his wife Margaret was the one who created them. A secret she helped keep for some ten years.
The reason she fell in love with him was based on their common ability to create art. Later in the narrative, she discovers that he has always been a fraud. However, she is too deep and caught up in the web of lies orchestrated by Walter to escape. He revelled in the façade, of fake ownership, as she carried a heavy burden; lying to everyone, even her daughter and her best friend. Trapped with nowhere to turn, she focuses on creating an outlet through her art of doe eyed subjects, that portrayed her unhappiness.
Why does she paint figures with big eyes?
‘Eyes are the window of the soul’
The film portrays a sympathetic vision of Margaret, as she struggles from single mother to having an abusive husband. The success and money of the paintings led to much distress and anxiety. Eventually she manages to find the strength to overcome her situation and takes ownership of her creations. The intimate relationship shown spans a period of ten years, showing how Margaret as a character develops, as does her art. In this way one does not need to be creative with art itself, but one can be creative in lying, in creating an appearance that is simply fake. This creativity is a true story being notable event in art history.