I loved the movie. Interesting and exploratory, which held my attention indefinitely. Telling the story from so many points of view was intriguing, simply that everyone had different facts to contribute that ultimately tied together to complete the picture.
It is both easy and hard to say why this movie was philosophical from my novice perception. I would say that the boy, being the key part of the movie through his experiences, was the most influential character. He was seeking knowledge of his fathers past because of the falsities he feels he has been subjected to over the years. I believe him to see his fathers tall tales as a way of demeaning his persona, as if he can not handle the truth, or that the truth is just not worth telling. He in essence feels his fathers past to have been a lie to cover up facts that otherwise would not be worth talking about. Such as an affair, another life with another woman and with other children, that stole the time he was to have with his father. Now that his father is dieing he feels he is ready for the truth and seeks it. He is searching for knowledge, to know his father, to know himself, to know that he will be a good father. He cant understand his fathers perception of reality because at that moment hes focusing on the physical probabilities. He wants evidence, facts, black and white, but his fathers life is not an old picture show, it is a coloring book world of embellished truths.
One only wants to know what one knows, until one wants to know otherwise. He could have stayed in the blissful ignorance he felt subject to. Or, as he did, could seek out the answers to his questions, no matter the price. Isnt such a philosophical attribute, do they not seek out what else there is, what is left unsaid, unasked, unanswered. In the end realizing he was indeed never ignorant at all. For ignorance is almost to never want to know the truth, more overly to ever accept it. Though we question, and question the answers to our questions, what ever revelations, truths and falsities we cipher out along the way can only aid us on the quest, never hinder the path. In effect we chose what to show proudly, embellish, and what to leave in between the lines, unsaid.
There is a lot left unsaid between the dieing father and his son, physical words, but the last moments the boy spent with his father probably said more than the words could have ever begun. As if speaking the same language for the first time they connected on that plateau, in a memory, in a dream, in a story, the story of his fathers life, something that can never be taken away, and will never die. In all actuality the story ends just as it begins, as I believe all things do, with a big fish.